But small bites of it can be easier to swallow

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Read everything from Susan Orlean — and more.

Upgrade to Medium membership to directly support independent writers and get unlimited access to everything on Medium.

Become a member

Already a member?Sign In

Put on your hard pants and your travel jacket: Life is coming for you

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash


First: Scream into a pillow. Second: Look away.

Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash


The ones I see in real life, the ones I only text, the ones I wish could have been at my wedding

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash


This year has been emotionally costly; can we reinvest?

Credit: PM Images/Getty Images


How did I do that? And will I ever do it again? Yikes.

Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash


There isn’t even vocabulary for our pandemic emotions

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash


You never know what you might find while emptying a house

Photo by Mockup Graphics on Unsplash
  • My wedding ring from my first marriage. I had no idea I still had it. The friend who was taking stuff to Goodwill for us found it in a Ziplock in a pile of stuff. Now I once again am confronted with the question of what to do with it.
  • A Tiffany pen. I must have bought it to give as a gift because I would never indulge myself with such a fancy pen. Evidently, after I bought it I couldn’t bring myself to give it away. I didn’t open the box or use it; I just… kept it. Found…


But this isn’t a column about running, it’s about writing

Photo: Patrik Giardino/Getty


It grows as you use it, so don’t worry

Photo by Kid Circus on Unsplash

Susan Orlean

Staff writer, The New Yorker. Author of The Library Book, The Orchid Thief, and more…Head of my very own Literati.com book club (join me!)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store