More Readers than Ever

“When Dante published The Divine Comedy in 1321, barely 10% of the Italian population could read. In 2008, by contrast,…83% of adults worldwide were described as literate by Unesco. In a world of 7 billion, of whom about one-third use ‘some kind of English,’ that’s a huge potential audience for books.” — Robert McCrum

Ideas for blog posts

“Every conversation you have contains something to write about. If it’s interesting enough to have a conversation about, it’s interesting enough to write about, and if it’s not, you should not waste your time talking or writing. I’m not talking about idle chit-chat here (though that could be great too). I’m talking about conversations where real value and information is exchanged. Casual or not. The post is right there, waiting for you to capture it, share it.” — Patrick Rhone

Revisions the Pixar Way

“Having worked many years at Pixar Animation Studios in the story department, I have had the opportunity to get intimate with the revision process for the films there. ” — Max Brace (click to read the details)

Don’t blame the Internet (just give it credit)

“In a rant last week, a famous writer said, ‘The Internet is not to blame for your unfinished novel: you are.’ As far as I’m concerned, the internet was created to keep more crappy novels from crowding the in-boxes of bitching ass agents like me. From crowding the shelves of bookstores. From taking down trees. From becoming e and crowding the what? ether? I think the more the internet keeps people from writing the better. Thank you internet porn. Thank you E-Bay. Thank you YouTube. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg. Every minute you surf the web is a minute you don’t write something stupid and pathetic. The internet is the next best thing to wanking, face picking, drawer reorganizing, and therapy. The internet is what separates the yolk from the whites.” — Betsy Lerner

A Day in the Life of John McPhee

“OK, it’s nine in the morning. All I’ve got to do is write. But I go hours before I’m able to write a word. I make tea. I mean, I used to make tea all day long. And exercise, I do that every other day. I sharpened pencils in the old days when pencils were sharpened. I just ran pencils down. Ten, eleven, twelve, one, two, three, four—this is every day. This is damn near every day. It’s four-thirty and I’m beginning to panic. It’s like a coiling spring. I’m really unhappy. I mean, you’re going to lose the day if you keep this up long enough. Five: I start to write. Seven: I go home. That happens over and over and over again. So why don’t I work at a bank and then come in at five and start writing? Because I need those seven hours of gonging around. I’m just not that disciplined. I don’t write in the morning—I just try to write. ” — John McPhee