And the writer is…

Hey there, happy Sunday!

Here are 10 things for writers this week:

  1. A fun new podcast I found this week: And the Writer Is… introduces listeners to the songwriters behind today’s biggest hits, and gives them the spotlight they deserve (but do not usually care about). Best episode so far (which I cannot link to directly, so go to the website above): #9, with “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurrls” writer Bonnie McKee, which you should cross-reference with the Bridge section of The Song Machine if you liked that feeling after watching The Butterfly Effect. (You may also consider taking a playlist of songs Bonnie wrote on your next run. Good times, friends.)
    + Why do I run? Colum McCann put it well: “Very few people talk about it, but writers have to have the stamina of world-class athletes.”
    + Lorde on “Teenage Dream”: “There’s this sadness about it, where you feel young listening to it, but you feel impermanence at the same time. When I put that song on, I’m as moved as I am by anything by David Bowie, by Fleetwood Mac, by Neil Young. It lets you feel something you didn’t know you needed to feel.” She regarded me closely.
    “There’s something holy about it.”
    What’s your best misheard lyric? (I spent the entirety of the 90s convinced that Michael Jackson and LTB were “not gonna spend my life being a cola.” Which made complete sense because of the Pepsi commercial.)
    + Can we be done with #1 now? Here’s one more:
    Switched On Pop is another great podcast if you’re interested in how #1 hits work, from the lyrics onward. I don’t understand music well enough to know what they’re talking about most of the time, but I do love Top 40 (…obviously), and these two hosts are clearly masters of their craft. Their conversations are riveting.
  2. A great find for my fellow small business owners: online entrepreneur and teacher Regina Anaejionu is converting her entire library of paid courses into free-for-alls to help you build your brand and your company. You can follow her daily journal about the transition starting here, check out her previously-paid-but-now-free courses, and keep an eye out for her forthcoming book, Hashtag Fail: A Business Memoir of Success.
  3. 9 books that will give you something to talk about at any cocktail party. (#4 on their list is #1 on mine.) (Thanks, Dad!)
  4. My favorite online read this week: “Word length, grammar, typeface, first person, who cares? It’s like debating shades of white in a paint store: it really doesn’t matter at the end of the day. White paint is white paint. Good is good.” Paul Jarvis (who just got a book deal!) on writing good vs. writing well.
  5. This shirt felt like a challenge for writers. I ordered it immediately. (My husband has the men’s version.)
  6. Bestselling author and Love Your Work host David Kadavy wants to help you get your art done, so on May 8, he’s going to start writing his next book, Getting Art Done. Want to receive a chapter a day all the way through his writing process? You can! (I love this idea.) Sign up here to get onboard before the deadline, and you’ll get first access to his “make creative breakthroughs happen on demand” formula. Can’t wait. (David also has a great reading recs email list, which I’ve enjoyed since the beginning. The latest issue includes a rave review for To Show and to Tell, which is a solid resource for anyone wanting to write amazing personal essays.)
  7. “Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them.”
  8. “When we talk about movies and TV, we usually fixate on actors and directors — but without writers, the whole ship goes down.” From Vox, an overview of why Hollywood’s writers are on the verge of a strike — and what it means for writers everywhere.
    + “I voted for a Hollywood writers’ strike, but I don’t want one.”
  9. It’s not too late to sign up for Start Writing Fiction, a (free!) university class delivered courtesy of FutureLearn. I like what this site offers: a diverse library of courses from accredited universities and specialist organizations. All online, all free. (The University of Warwick’s Shakespeare and His World class looks pretty good, too.)
  10. Emily Gould: How much my novel cost me.”

Thanks for reading! I’m putting this newsletter on hold for the month of May, but I’ll be back in June with an edition that will be worth the wait, I promise.

See you then,


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