Michael on Writing: The more you write, the more you think about writing. The more you think about writing, the more you talk about writing. The more you think and talk about writing, the less you actually find yourself writing, but that’s another story for another day.
The only thing more enjoyable than these moments of contemplation and conversation about writing is the gift of getting to listen in as others share their own ideas on and approach to the subject. This exchange between former GQ writer George Saunders and his current editor Andy Ward is one of the best I’ve read (thanks to Todd Chandler, who was kind enough to share this). To some, these conversation seem like little more than pontification, to me, they offer a lens into how others accomplish their goals with their words. It’s a must read for anyone, who like me, cannot help but talk, think, and learn about writing as we do our best to actually make some of our own words appear on the page (or screen, if that’s your thing).
Howie on Media Transparency: This is very interesting. I have clamored for this forever. This started with print. Bundling. A newspaper will say ‘we have one million circulation’ but I would only read sports and business. So the brands advertising in lifestyle can’t reach me. But they still had to pay for one million readers. With digital this data is available. But media still bundles. We have no idea how many pages are read – a lot or a little. We have no idea how many Facebook users are logged in and active right now. There is an app called Social Bro that tells you how many of your Twitter Followers are active (tweeted in the last five mins) and it ranges from 30 to 80 for my nearly 1,800 followers. Transparency will cut to the heart of what is the value of a media property, content etc to advertisers/marketers.
Gini on Fiction: Again. I’m reading a ton of long-form right now and my Vanity Fair, New Yorker, and Atlantic subscriptions are sitting quiet. My friend (and reading buddy) Christina Pappas suggested I read Dark Places (by the same author) last summer. It was decent enough and, at the end of the book, the first chapter of Gone Girl was there. I read it…and then had to buy the entire book. It was a little bit Scott Peterson kills his wife and baby, with a twist of phenomenal fiction and storytelling. It was in my top three books read last year.