I’m A Failed Writer #6: Obsession x Voice

This is my video tribute to a great talk at SXSW in 2009 between John Gruber and Merlin Mann about obsession and voice. Here is how it has affected me as a neurotic novelist.

After you check out the video, you should read John Gruber’s preface to this talk here.

And if you didn’t already click through to the audio link via Gruber’s site, you can get to the audio file directly from Merlin’s blog here.

(For the full scoop, check out my blog post at Writer Unboxed.)

UPDATE (9/27/12): Merlin and Gruber both linked to this video from their blogs, which totally destroyed my whole “I only get 50 hits a day” statement, at least for the day. This is what happens when my piddly blog gets linked to by them:

You can find a list of all my videos here. And you can subscribe to my second-rate blog either by email or RSS.

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  1. says

    I’m a total sucker for pithy inspirational quotes. I stick them to the wall, the computer, the refrigerator, the dashboard, my wallet, even in the underwear drawer. But ‘Do the shit out of it’? I should just tattoo that one on my hand and be done with it. Thanks Yuvi – this episode is my new favorite.

  2. says

    Brilliant, Yuvi, there is so much wisdom in your stick figures (even more so when pantless), and so much comfort to be gained from your crazy path squiggle.
    Three cheers for peeing sitting down!

  3. says

    comming here from daring fireball and marco.org, i have to say:

    Wow! That was beautiful! (I would say inspiring, but we all know, merlin hates that ^-^)

  4. says

    Yuvi, this video is terrific — thank you! I listened to the original discussion about a year ago and loved it, then forgot about it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention again in such a concise, witty and entertaining way! :)

  5. says

    Yuvi, I found you COMPLETELY by accident. A tangle of searches led me here, unwindable. Loved this post. Re-posted it to FB. Went to your links (thank you). I’m wondering this morning whether you struggle with the following the way I do: when I find a writer who knocks my socks off, I thrill, yes. But I also die inside. It makes heaven seem that much farther away… Two echoes of this in NYTimes Book Review this a.m. Hal Holbrook saying, in his memoir, “The person named Hal Holbrrok, who was he?…The person I wanted to be was a dream with no dimensions.” Sigh. That’s really good. And then the just flat-out dazzling writing of Pete Dexter’s review (The Great Leader, Jim Harrison). As always, I’m going to take a long walk to shake of the adrenaline rush of these close encounters with excellence so that I can get back to my own drawing board. I shall follow with pleasure. Here are my links: http://tiny.cc/fdi2c and http://tiny.cc/5s6sd

    • yuvi says

      Amanda — Thanks for watching my video. Yeah, I can definitely understand the pain of reading an incredible writer. But there’s also some kind of energy that comes out of the experience for me. Wow, that actually sounds like a good subject for a future presentation. Thanks.

      Wow. Those two book reviews were pretty incredible. Pete Dexter’s review was like no review I’ve ever read. Beautifully done. Thanks Amanda!

  6. says

    Hi Yuvi
    Came over from Frank Dickinson’s site – glad I did.
    Absolutely loved your video.
    What a voice you have and what a unique form of presentation.
    Thanks Frank.
    Hope to be a regular visitor.


  1. […] When you are just getting interested in a subject, you start with the big names. You seek out the luminaries whose names people would recognize even if they couldn’t care less about a particular niche. When it comes to the productivity space, I’m talking about guys like David Allen’s, Steven Covey’s and Merlin Mann (or maybe that’s just me who is obsessed with him. Well, me and Yuvi anyhow). […]

  2. […] There are people out there like Merlin who change the way you look at your life. They encourage you to look at what you’re doing and offer up suggestions as to how you can go about being better. They help “find the confidence to know what you want to say and who you want to say it to1”. […]

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