10 things for writers this week

Fun fact: Tom Hanks owns 250 working typewriters

Hey there, happy Sunday!

Here are 10 things for writers this week:

  1. This week on Anthony is Writing a Book: my client Anthony Ongaro struggles to find time to write on vacation, I have some ideas about why Chapter 2 isn’t working yet, and we grapple together with taking this thing to the next level. Come join the fun!
    + “Random House has licensed Medium a huge excerpt from my new novel, After On. It will be posted in a dozen installments leading up to the book’s August 1st release.” Author Rob Reid has another cool way to get attention for your book before it’s published.
  2. How to be a writer on social media: a great conversation worth reading to the end.
  3. “In order to gain our attention, marketers often use a technique similar to the Trojan Horse. They offer people an apparent gift — a free ebook, a discount card, a sample. Only once this item has been enjoyed can its real purpose can be enacted.” My favorite online read this week (from Shane Parrish) is a Trojan Horse of a post that will challenge your preconceptions about Trojan Horses. Smart writing from one of the smartest readers on the internet.
  4. New podcast that I feel guilty about enjoying so much: The Diary features voice actors reading aloud from famous (dead) writers’ secret journals. It’s like Mortified, but for tortured creatives. I’m sure Steinbeck would be thrilled to hear someone’s been rifling through his private effects to find and share gems like, “I am not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself and other people.” Ahhh, I can’t stop listening.
  5. “We affirm the written word and written thought against multimedia, multitasking, and the meme.” California Typewriter is a documentary about typewriters starring Tom Hanks and John Mayer. So excited! (Sayeth my tech-loving husband, “Bet you can’t watch it on a typewriter.”) 
    + See also: Bird by Bird with Anne.
    + Keira Rathbone makes art with her typewriter.
  6. 100 Demon Dialogues: A really charming Kickstarter book project for anyone who’s ever had to fight negative self-talk when doing creative work. (A few of my favorite pages from the book are here, here, and here.)
  7. The case for taking forever to finish books reminds me of Tom Disch’s “A Bookmark.”
  8. “‘A general atmosphere for ambient dread’: Text journalists fear (and resent) The Great Pivot to Video.” (Further reading here.) 
    + Chilling: Tony Fadell, one of the minds behind the iPod and the iPhone, confesses, “I wake up in cold sweats thinking, What did we bring into the world?
  9. “Editing is about ideas, but it is mechanical, too. You have to get under the hood of the language, and editors use many tools. Some are clichés but you should still avoid them like the plague, no matter how amazing or incredible or unbelievable or challenging it can be to raise the bar — even when you are writing about icons ideating on the brand message; and never circle back.” The brilliant and notorious editor Terry McDonell has launched a summer series for writers: So You’ve Decided to Write is currently three entries in, or you can speed read them all in his book.
  10. 10 writing rules you can and should break is a good reminder that there are no rules. Stop thinking there are rules.

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See you next Sunday.


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