Are You A Hemingway Or A Dickinson?

And what’s even more important

Daniel Williams
4 min readSep 24, 2022


by author

One of my core beliefs is fang shaped. It was stabbed deep into my foundations. It was stabbed in by Hemingway.

This belief sees the mind as a meatgrinder. When you pack the hopper with thrilling, gritty experiences, you’ll crank out thrilling writing that fills readers with useful grit. It has no choice.

This is why I’m occasionally interested in adding a baby to the family team. My gut says a big, gritty baby in my writing hopper would crank out a savory pile of fame.

by author

ME: So…what do you say?

MINDY: No thank you.

ME: You haven’t heard me out!

MINDY: I’m not making your fame baby.

ME: But I’ll love it.

MINDY: You’ll have to do better than that.

ME: Better than love? Not even God can do that. (leans in to whisper) Honey, God is love.

MINDY: What’d I say about whispering?

ME: It’s the dialect of perverts.

MINDY: Bingo. Listen, you have to want a baby just because you want a baby. You can’t use one as an experiential grindstone to sharpen your writing.

ME: Did you hear what you just said? Incredible! See? Just talking about babies is sharpening us already. Imagine what actually having one would do to the writing. Don’t you want riches?

MINDY: Babies are riches. Until you believe that, no baby.

ME: Babies don’t even believe that. Are we fighting?

MINDY: Not even close.

ME: Then why are we even married?

Hemingway slams his ruddy butt down at the arm-wrestling table to await the hand of his nemesis:

Emily Dickinson.



Daniel Williams

A poverty-stricken, soft Batman by night. Illustrator and writing teacher by day. Previously: McSweeney’s, Slackjaw.