Hey there, happy Sunday!
Here are 10 things for writers this week:
Thanks for reading! If you enjoy this newsletter and find value in it, please forward it to a friend.
- My favorite online read this week is all about how business jargon is ruining everything. "If we hope to improve organisational life – and the wider impact that organisations have on our society – then a good place to start is by reducing the amount of bullshit our organisations produce. Business bullshit allows us to blather on without saying anything. It empties out language and makes us less able to think clearly and soberly about the real issues. As we find our words become increasingly meaningless, we begin to feel a sense of powerlessness. We start to feel there is little we can do apart from play along, benefit from the game and have the occasional laugh." (See also: The excellent Writing Without Bullshit.)
+ Is "deep work" the newest example of business jargon? "I’m sure I’ve said to many people that Deep Work 'had a major influence on me.' It did, but that influence didn’t quite extend to my behavior, just to my ideals."
- How Austin Kleon keeps a diary.
- This one hits close to home: "It's embarrassing. Especially for someone like me. I'm supposed to be an author – words are kind of my job. Without reading, I'm not sure who I am. So, it's been unnerving to realize: I have forgotten how to read – really read – and I've been refusing to talk about it out of pride." Michael Harris on forgetting how to read. (I really, really loved his book.)
- So, you want to be a writer, huh. "If it doesn't come bursting out of you, despite everything, don't do it."—Charles Bukowski, self-help guru? (Video for that one is NSFW.)
- Start-up news isn't typically going to make the list around here, but this one seems kind of cool: "Serial Box emulates TV networks by releasing original, weekly e-book and audio 'serials' through apps, its website, and third-party retailers." (They just raised $1.65 million!)
- Do you subscribe to any paid e-mail newsletters? Ever thought of starting one yourself? Here's a good overview of why their time has come, and how they can work for writers.
- 15 major award-winning novels you've probably never heard of, and 15 more that would make terrible movies.
- "Though I don’t explicitly remember talking about writing groups in graduate school, I think many of us there subconsciously believed in the myth of the solitary genius. You know, the writer who tirelessly believes in himself, day after day, month after month, year after year, although no one offers him accolades or affirmation. The one whose faith in his own work is unflinching. And then one day THE WORLD UNDERSTANDS HIS GENIUS and he sells his books and buys a home on Cape Cod. The serious writer always did it alone." Kaethe Schwehn on the myth of the solitary genius, and how she learned to love her writing group.
- "For centuries, lexicographers have attempted to capture the entire English language. Technology might soon turn this dream into reality – but will it spell the end for dictionaries?"
- Congratulations, Chris Ducker! Chris's second book, Rise of the Youpreneur, is out this week, and we had so much fun working on it last fall. He launched it privately to attendees of the Youpreneur Summit in London in November, and it's now finally available to the public. Worth a read for anyone who's building a personal brand around their writing.
See you next Sunday,