27 Comments

THANK YOU for this, Minda: “I think about what would have happened if I'd taken those two years and the money I'd saved and just drifted around the world instead, soaking up experiences.”

You’ve just validated my life choices. I ditched everything this year to take a year-long road trip from New Hampshire to Alaska and down to Baja in Mexico and to write about it on my Substack (I’ve just left Alaska and I’m on my way south!). I’m hoping the experiences I’m having along the way will turn into my first book. Hopefully that’s as valuable as an MFA!

Expand full comment

“I think when we dodge a chance to stand up tall and celebrate ourselves and instead choose to keep our heads down while kicking up a dust cloud of "Oh, I'm nothing special," it's really easy to buy into that energy.”

THIS! Because if you tell the world you’re nothing special, the world treats you like you’re nothing special. Bravo! And congratulations on your success. Can’t wait to read this book!

Expand full comment

“Being humble is a trap.” - Wow. Imagine many of us were taught to be this way, and more so told repeatedly that “pride comes before fall.” So much to unlearn.

Expand full comment

“I'm insisting on putting my best work up on the fridge of life and I won't make any apologies for it.” Pow! 💥 Thanks Cheryl and Minda for this interview.

Expand full comment

Yes! Being humble is a trap! thank you for articulating this so perfectly.

Expand full comment

"being humble" - so much to say on that topic!

Expand full comment

Damn. More for the TBR pile! Thanks for bringing this forward.

Expand full comment

I SO appreciate you featuring this gifted writer! Her words were my confirmation to do a trial for the next 365 days: whenever I'm caught up in a decision, choose the one that evokes the most tremble. Take the chance to be more brave (and floss my teeth). Love it!

Expand full comment

Thank you for this excellent article and conversation. It definitely belongs on the fridge. Best of luck with the book, Minda.

Expand full comment

The 60's generation was lied to and today's environment and government is falling apart. We Pledged a Lie and lived together but separated from our supposed Human Race. We are about to annihilate Earth with Nuclear Bombs!

Expand full comment

Fantastic interview!

Expand full comment

Living for this A+ 90s reference + timeless wisdom: “Not crying doesn't actually make the sadness or the frustration or the anger disappear. Those feelings just become this mucky, inner-emotional tar that keeps you stuck in place. It's like whatever that villain in that Fern Gully movie was, glomming on to trees and forest creatures and squelching them of their vitality.” Yes to every other word of this interview, too, and Happy Pub Day, Minda.

Expand full comment

“Being humble is a trap” - I LOVE this and the idea that it’s important to take pride in our work, if we’re good at it, when who we are is often crushed in this world (in my case, being a woman). Cheryl, I’m curious if you have a word to offer about how we can reconcile “humility as a trap” (as explained by Minda) and your fantastic encouragement to embrace humility — “be on the ground” — in your “Write as a motherfucker” answer to an old Dear Sugar letter, as necessary to be able to get the writing done without falling trap to our own sense of grandiosity. I really struggle with this. I know I can write well, and it’s all I want to do, but I’m often undermined by my own lack of self-confidence — except if I tell myself that I’m good enough, I then worry that I’m not being humble enough. I can’t find the truth that must stand in between “not self-confident” and “not humble”. And that often leaves me stuck and tangled. Thanks for any precious advice you may be willing to give!

Expand full comment

"Not crying doesn't actually make the sadness or the frustration or the anger disappear. Those feelings just become this mucky, inner-emotional tar that keeps you stuck in place."

🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌

Oh my gosh! Minda so REAL. The longer you wait to deal with the tears the worse the tears seem to be when you do manage to cry them.

Expand full comment

Thank you for introducing me to Minda! There must be a story behind that wonderful name. I haven’t heard of another Minda besides my Jewish Step-Grandmother in the 1970s. Anyway I love Minda’s voice here and can’t wait to read the book! Mazel tov!

Expand full comment

I think it's difficult, even today, for women to stand in the center of their own lives, to be unapologetic, to follow their instincts, to be feral, to hold power, but I am delighted for so many like Minda, like Cheryl who are part of an ever-widening sisterhood. The future is indeed female.

Expand full comment