The weeks most interesting news; for writers.
1. The Pen Is Still Mightier Than The Sword
This may come as no surprise but writing has the power to connect with people at a deep level and convince them to do (or buy) things they normally wouldn’t… like convincing them to buy deodorant because they stink.
As novelists I hope you are all using your power for good.
2. Internet Killed The Newspaper Star
…And then bought it out.
You may have read this one already, but Amazon’s Bezos has purchased The Washington Post for $250 million dollars (just a drop in his 25 billion dollar fortune of course).
+ At a quarter of a billion dollars, the Post scored better than The New York Times, who sold the Boston Globe for only $70 million a week earlier.
3. The Movie Script Hamster Wheel
Steven Spielberg predicts that ‘bigger than life’, super blockbusters will cause hollywood to implode. Considering the tanking of several very expensive movies this summer, he may be right. Script Doctor Damon Lindelof on modern screenwriting and both the danger and draw of escalating scripts in Hollywood.
+ It’s okay though, TV will be there to pick up the pieces when the movie industry does implode. I have to admit, some of my favourite writing lately has been on TV.
4. Can Someone Pass The Ketchup? Whoops…
I was 7 or 8 years old when I first watched The Attack of The Killer Tomatoes. I remember, as I watched the movie again later that night (back in the cable company days when the 9 o’clock movie was also the 11 and 1 o’clock movie) trying to figure out why adults would make such terrible movies.
I’m not sure I ever figured it out, but I was hooked and ended up consuming every ‘Attack of’ type movie available before I was a teenager: tomatoes, 50 foot women, ants, various japanese monsters, even yogurt… at least I think it was yogurt! I watched, and loved them all.
Recently I heard that the Tomatoes were looking at a modern reboot. So, to prepare you for this eventuality, you can read the oral history of the franchise here.
If they do release a new film don’t watch it at the theatre though, this is the sort of movie best viewed late at night in the dark of your basement, eating ketchup chips (just to show them you are not afraid!)
5. Support Your Local Bookstore… Now Online
I love crowdsourcing/crowdfunding. I think it brings back many aspects of ‘community’ that we have lost over the past 150+ years of industrialized life. I’ve supported numerous projects on Kickstarter (7 so far) and even have a couple of projects of my own that I’m considering putting out there.
I have noticed a growing trend in businesses looking towards crowdfunding to supplement their bricks and mortar locations in some way (from launching restaurants to upgrading old theatres with digital equipment) but this is the first time I’ve come across bookstores looking for help from the crowd. While it’s unfortunate that these owners need this kind of help, I’m glad to see them experimenting with new technology and I’m sure we’ll see more of this moving forward.
6. Options For Writers
Josh Bearman and Josh Davis are long form magazine writers. They have also optioned 18 of their articles to the movie industry. Now they are launching Epic Magazine, a site designed to help give non-fiction writers a platform for their work. Read more here.
7. Coffee: It Is The Best Of Drinks, It Is The Worst Of Drinks
A surprising news month would be one where there are no new studies on the effects of coffee on the human body. As a writer, I need Teh Coffee to stay focused when energy lags, but then, I said the same thing when I worked corporate! This week’s news is on the ill effects of our favourite brew.
My motto is: All things in moderation.
+ But how do we become addicted to caffeine in the first place (sweet ambrosia of the Gods)?
8. Finding Time To Write
9. Multi-Tasking. You Too Can Fail At More Things, Faster.
I’m not sure how the whole ‘cult of multi-tasking’ began, but it needs to die. Certainly, there are times when being able to juggle 10 things are immensely useful (trust me, I have 4 kids and we homeschool!) but these moments should be the exception, not the rule.
Too many people like to brag about their multi-tasking prowess now-a-days, but the truth is: There are costs associated with multi-tasking. First, and most obvious, if you are working on more than 1 thing simultaneously you aren’t really doing a very good job at either. Second, most people don’t think about the ‘switching costs’; like a train that has to switch from one track to another, your brain requires effort and resources to shift tracks too… and that takes time. I can go on… but I’ll save it for another post!
BTW: If you click through on this link, check out the whole series of posts – worth the read
+ On Life, From Chris Kutcher. Er… Ashton Kutcher
I love to hear, or read, thoughtfully distilled wisdom. You should always take the time to hear messages like this. (warning: video quality is terrible on this upload… but the audio is great and that’s what really matters.)