web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Talking to Myself

Schmutter-110912

Do your family and friends play a role in your writing? Do they provide feedback and suggestions?

I give most of my articles to my wife for feedback, so she can roll her eyes and tell me they’re not funny. I think that ideally, my wife would like my columns to be made up of jokes that I hadn’t already told her when I was planning the columns. My kids don’t read my columns yet, which is great, because they’re in them, and my parents, who also show up in them from time to time, view them with a mixture of pride and embarrassment. Which is exactly the basis of a parent/child relationship anyway.

What is your writing process like? Describe it.

Before I start, I generally clear off my desk, so there’s nothing to distract me from writing. Then I clean the floor around my desk, wash some dishes, take out the garbage, dust the seforim shelves, and clean the dust out of my keyboard, and by the time I’m finished with all of that, it’s like 5 minutes to deadline. So most of my articles are written with a clear mind, but in a mad panic. I think that might be the secret to humor.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I like the process of planning everything beforehand — coming up with all the fun ideas without having to worry about which ones actually fit, whether any of them are actually good, and how many of them I have to cut out so we can shoehorn my article onto the page without having a foldout on the bottom. The best part of this process is that I can talk to myself, and when people look at me funny, I can say, “What? I’m a writer!” I don’t even have to pretend I’m wearing a Bluetooth.

What do you hope to accomplish in your writing? What message do you want to send?

My advice column tackles questions and problems that many of us face on a day-to-day basis, though it doesn’t focus so much on providing answers. The point, mainly, is to show the asker that he’s not alone, and that everyone struggles with the same things. And often, that’s enough to make him feel better, at least until he notices that he still has the problem.

A lot of times when something frustrating happens, people say, “One day, you’ll look back on this and laugh.” My column says, “Why not today?”

Got any questions for “You’re Asking Me?” You’re not alone.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Talking to Myself”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Palestinian youth hurl stones at Israel Police forces (unseen) during clashes with Police after friday prayers in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Al Amoud on February 28, 2014, Jerusalem, Israel. Police today in order to prevent riots limted the entrance for Muslim worship to men over age 50. Photo by Sliman Khader/Flash90
‘Benign Neglect’ May Be Setting Up Eastern Jerusalem Jews for Expulsion
Latest Sections Stories

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Baim-092614-Plate

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

More Articles from Mordechai Schmutter
Schmutter-logo-NEW

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

Schmutter-080814-Socks

If I’m going on for oven mitts, I don’t want to see sock puppets until at least page 40.

Alternatively, you can try your absolute hardest to listen whenever she says anything.

Father’s Day comes every year. How many drills can you get him?

This week, I’m asking the questions for a change.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Purim around here is crazy. And I’m not just talking about the amount of questions I get.

Dear Mordechai,

Someone gave me a gift that I don’t like. But I don’t want to hurt his feelings. What should I do?

You Shouldn’t Have

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/talking-to-myself/2012/11/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: