A collection of affirmations selected from the author’s daily tweets.
Twitter discourse is not distinguished by its positivity. But amid the rants, complaints, and depressing news, Miranda, the creator of the megahit musical Hamilton, offers daily inspirational greetings to start and end the day. These tidbits offer occasions for reflection and gratitude, and at their best, they spur confidence, resilience, and even happiness. Unfortunately, the magic doesn’t carry over from social to printed media. Even when the advice is good—e.g., “Gnight! / Your mind is yours alone. / Do what it takes to make yourself comfy. / Draw the blinds, kick out unwelcome guests. / Make it your home” or “Do NOT get stuck in the comments section of life / today. / Make, do, create the things. / Let others tussle it out”—reading more than a couple at a time is like going to the store and reading all the birthday cards. Eventually, they begin to sound sentimental or pat. Miranda describes his method for composing these tweets in his introduction: “I’m writing what I wish somebody would say, / Then switching the pronoun to you.” Readers will do well to invert this formula and switch the pronouns back to I as they read. This strategy allows an escape from awkward questions about why the author is saying these things to you. Although even reading “[I] did good today” forces the question, did I? Better is the playful specificity of something like “get some food in you, maybe a banana.” This brief collection is best when the author deviates from straight inspiration and surprises readers. Sun’s (everyone’s an aliebn when ur a aliebn too, 2017) line drawings, which enhance the book’s lighthearted side, are a notable addition to the print version of Miranda’s affirmations; they are a fun and refreshing presence throughout.
Inspiring as the affirmations can be, the book is ultimately less than the sum of its parts.