I’m all ready to make this week’s Mr. Wrong column, but sometimes I can’t remember what I want to column about, you know? I mean, c’mon, I always have some sorta Topic, and no, I do not sympathise with any of this “Writer’s Block” stuff people whine about, like that article I looked at in The New Yorker about the guy who helped big-time Entertainment people get through their Writerering Block, har!
At least that’s what I think it was about, the article, I mighta not completely absorbed it, on account of I have Reader’s Block, seriously, I mean, I don’t move my lips or anything [...]
The Awl: Joe Brown, you have spent a lot of time in New York City and environs and you have been commended to me as wildly outdoorsy, despite your indoorsy day job as features editor of Gizmodo. I would like to know your secrets without you blowing up any secret spots. So tell me: if I want a good hike within reasonable distance of New York, and maybe I lived a little, so maybe not too hard a hike, wherever would I go?
Joe Brown: Spent a lot of time in New York? I am a ****ing native!
The Awl: Spoken like a native!
Joe: Don't [...]
Writers by definition spend a lot of time on the inside of books, which is why what happens on the outside—namely, cover art and blurbs—can feel precarious and daunting. Often these elements are beyond an author’s control or expertise, which can be painful to admit, particularly when the "expertise" of graphic designers and marketers seems so subjective or at odds with an author’s “vision” for a book.
To get some advice on navigating these issues, we asked a handful of writers—including Kate Christensen, Bennett Madison, Stefanie Pintoff, Mark Jude Poirier and Tom Scocca—who have been through the process these questions:
- How important are covers in terms [...]
Try to attach a file that's 25 megabytes or bigger to an outgoing Gmail message and what do you get? I have no idea, because I would never attempt such a stunt, but I'm guessing it's a friendly error message informing you that the raw video trailer for your documentary about paperclips is the digital equivalent of a wide-load trailer and unfit for this particular mode of travel. What now? You've tried everything! Except no, you haven't.
For starters, if you're teaming up on this groundbreaking documentary of yours, and need to share the material with a partner 3000 miles away so they can edit and play around [...]
Eating dinner with a group of people at a restaurant can be fun. You know what's not fun? Trying to figure out who owes what when the check comes—when Jenny, like, only got the roasted beet and goat cheese salad, but Freddy got some stupid $38 hamburger (THE MEAT IS FROM PAT LaFRIEDA, OKAY?!), but Jenny had three cocktails compared to Gabby’s single glass of Pinot, so maybe Jenny actually owes more than everyone else, because those cocktails were $16 each (THE BARTENDER, EXCUSE ME, "MIXOLOGIST," USED ANGOSTURA BITTERS AND HAND-CHIPPED ICE, OKAY?!), but Franny says she owes less since she didn’t even order an entree on her own, [...]
Sometimes, like once a day, my house phone rings! It usually rings about six times, and I go from "Ooh, someone's calling me" to "Oh right, no one is actually calling me" by ring number two. The rest of the rings are just an interruption of key plot points to whatever PBS drama I am watching at the time. That is because I do not pickup my phone. Because no one even has the number. It rings all the time, with phone-spam and fake bill collection agencies and sales pitches disguised as surveys. And the fool is me, because I am actually paying for this annoying non-service. It's not [...]
Reading, once you've learned how, is fundamentally easy, right? You are presented with the written word, which your brain runs through some contextual/syntactic gears, and then the meaning is imparted. It's an experience that can't be improved, other than with a pair of eyeglasses or a really swank smoking jacket. But, before the reading happens, the material needs to be acquired, identified and organized. And now that ever-increasing amounts of text are consumed online, this is a process that can be daunting, if you go it alone. So maybe this unimprovable experience is one that you're doing wrong, or inefficiently.
Read the rest.
(Sponsored posts are purely [...]