Then I came here and started writing this. I’d just composed another piece the other day, so Medium was on my mind. In fact, the whole experience I’ve just described is part of the argument for a site like Medium. That argument goes: No writer should be in the business of making a personal website. They’re hard to find, readers rarely return to them, and besides—let me just contribute this last part myself—they aren’t even fun to make anymore.
I wonder if maybe I’ve made my last website. I don’t know.
The end of history and the last website by Robin Sloan
On working on a joke, rewriting until each syllable is just right:
Seinfeld will nurse a single joke for years, amending, abridging and reworking it incrementally, to get the thing just so. “It’s similar to calligraphy or samurai,” he says. “I want to make cricket cages. You know those Japanese cricket cages? Tiny, with the doors? That’s it for me: solitude and precision, refining a tiny thing for the sake of it.”
“People ask me, Why Porsches? A lot of it is the size, same as with bits. The smaller something is, the harder it is to make, because there’s less room for error.” In high school he took shop classes, even after a counselor told him that collegebound kids didn’t need to, because he wanted to know how machines fit together. “I have this old ’57 Porsche Speedster, and the way the door closes, I’ll just sit there and listen to the sound of the latch going, cluh-CLICK-click,” Seinfeld said. “That door! I live for that door. Whatever the opposite of planned obsolescence is, that’s what I’m into.”
Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up by Johnah Weiner
One of my favorite lecturers, Fred Wilson of USV, put it best: “I don’t sky dive, I don’t even like roller coasters, so for me pushing the publish button is that moment of risk taking…”
Can you teach someone to be an entrepreneur
And so the size of my library—containing all that I have read and reread and aspire to read—can grow and shrink and change even as the number of books on the shelves remain the same. The shelves hold not only the books of my choosing, but also the snippets and fragments that I have plucked or added or paraphrased or argued about. They sit between each other, between you and I, bound together by the strength of our connections.
—Allen Tan The Readmill Blog
WRITE EVERY DAY
Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.
When I’m working on a story or novel, I set a modest daily goal — usually a page or two — and then I meet it every day, doing nothing else while I’m working on it. It’s not plausible or desirable to try to get the world to go away for hours at a time, but it’s entirely possible to make it all shut up for 20 minutes. Writing a page every day gets me more than a novel per year — do the math — and there’s always 20 minutes to be found in a day, no matter what else is going on. Twenty minutes is a short enough interval that it can be claimed from a sleep or meal-break (though this shouldn’t become a habit). The secret is to do it every day, weekends included, to keep the momentum going, and to allow your thoughts to wander to your next day’s page between sessions. Try to find one or two vivid sensory details to work into the next page, or a bon mot, so that you’ve already got some material when you sit down at the keyboard.
Leave yourself a rough edge
When you hit your daily word-goal, stop. Stop even if you’re in the middle of a sentence. Especially if you’re in the middle of a sentence. That way, when you sit down at the keyboard the next day, your first five or ten words are already ordained, so that you get a little push before you begin your work. Knitters leave a bit of yarn sticking out of the day’s knitting so they know where to pick up the next day — they call it the “hint.” Potters leave a rough edge on the wet clay before they wrap it in plastic for the night — it’s hard to build on a smooth edge.
–Cory Doctorow, http://www.locusmag.com/Features/2009/01/cory-doctorow-writing-in-age-of.html