what creators need to know about hearths, voids, and boiled frogs

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You ever have that morning at the keyboard? “Why am I doing this? Is anybody out there?”

You ever not have that morning?

Sure, this isn’t a problem for the popular kids with all the eyeballs. They just write and write la la la basking in the instant feedback and unanimous adoration from everybody all the time forever.

popular kid writing
“This paragraph is going great. Let’s do this!”

For the rest of us, dread is our natural state.

"Maybe I'll write a list. People love lists. Blargh."
“Maybe I’ll write a list. People love lists. Blargh.”

I call this condition of existential bleakness Speaking Into the Void. And it can be speaking—if you’re a podcaster—but what the phrase really refers to is putting your creative stuff out there without any sense that people are actually reading, listening, or watching.

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learning to go with the workflow

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Today, I’m sad to announce that I’m leaving the book business for good.

Just kidding, suckers. I’m not sad. I’m excited! Last year, I sold my first screenplay. Now that the movie is finally coming out, I’m finally headed for the big time. Beaucoup bitcoin, baby. Is there such a thing as a Tesla Humvee? Because I want one.

You know that trend of gender-switched remakes (Ghostbusters)? You know that sub-trend of gender-switched remakes of Tom Hanks movies (Splash)? Presciently, I decided the time was right to pull out a script that had been sitting in the back of my drawer for ages.

Sara Dipity is a gender-switched remake of Forrest Gump. It’s the story of a simple woman who “serendipitously” wanders into every key moment in smug Baby Boomer history.

Sara Dipity poster

Featuring Julia Roberts as Lieutenant Danielle. December 2016 release.

In the meantime, I’ll keep writing the Maven Game.


I recently read Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing by Matthew Kirschenbaum.

As I’ve learned from a number of conversations about it so far, if you’re the kind of person who would read a literary history of word processing, you’re in the middle of ordering a copy and not even reading this sentence anymore.

Renee in Jerry Maguire

The rest of you should probably scroll down to unsubscribe now. I don’t know what’s wrong with you…and I don’t care to know. Good day, sir. I said good day!

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the blogger has no clothes (as in the emperor has no clothes, nothing naughty intended)

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Discard your thirst for books, so that you won’t die in bitterness.

—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

A former colleague of mine recently called me “a member of the anti-publishing brigade.” I resent this assertion. If I’m in any brigade related to the publishing industry, it’s the one where you stand in a chain passing buckets of water. Some people just don’t want to be helped.

Anyway.

Alex Honnold is a free solo climber, the world’s best. You know that scene in The Princess Bride where the Man in Black ascends the Cliffs of Insanity without a rope? That’s Honnold’s version of “Netflix and chill.”

(After I wrote the first draft of this, I learned that “Netflix and chill” doesn’t mean what I’d thought it meant. So it turns out I lied in the subject line.)

kissing

As I learned in this article about Honnold at Nautilus, people struggle even watching video of him climbing these sheer faces because it nauseates them. For most of the duration of his epic climbs, one missed toehold and Honnold would plunge to instant death.

Continue reading “the blogger has no clothes (as in the emperor has no clothes, nothing naughty intended)”