It is a strange thing to monetize your emotions. Anyone who writes or creates knows this. And the work one does on the Internet feels insubstantial, even by the flimsy standards of intellectual property. Any body of digital work is a funny mixture of ephemeral and immortal, and it’s hard to know how to feel about such an archive.
Today marks my final column as the Daily’s correspondent. When I started writing these casuals, in January 2014, I thought of them as a challenge: to try to do something small, well, and consistently. There are certain kinds of writing—good writing—that are actually better suited to this medium than to print, and translating the personal and fleeting into something public seems to me one of the Internet’s primary gifts. The challenge comes not in finding inspiration, but in trying to strike the balance of confidence—that one’s observations have merit—and humility: recognizing that they’re not inherently interesting.
I want to thank those of you who have taken the time to read these little pieces. And I’ll leave you with my favorite Barbara Pym quote:
The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things … the trivial pleasure like cooking, one’s home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.
Words to live—and write—by.
Sadie Stein is contributing editor of The Paris Review, and the Daily’s correspondent.