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The ever-tightening Net

Posted by Angela on September 30, 2013
Technology / Comments Off

We’ve always been so aware of the strings all around us, but now it’s starting to seem like there really is a web, tying all of these platforms and services together, making the Internet feel like an increasingly closed-off space, instead of an ever expanding universe. It’s not necessarily that the deck was stacked, though in the case of our Internet privacy, it’s certainly starting to seem that way — it’s that we were playing the wrong game, by an entirely different set of rules, and someone else has been playing it better.

Marie Connelly for The Pastry Box Project

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New connections

Posted by Angela on July 30, 2013
Technology / Comments Off

As we move more fully onto networks, a lot of our major cultural arguments are stuck on bookshelves in dark rooms—but have a look at conversations that combine the bookish and networked worlds and it’s like stepping into a surprise deep end: the “future of the book” world zips so easily between screens and scrolls and between McLuhan and monasteries that it’s easy to get jaded about yet another dive into the Gutenbergian past intended to somehow illuminate our near future. But I think they’re onto something, and that their counterparts in every other facet of our online lives are worth seeking out and celebrating.

Erin Kissane for The Pastry Box Project

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Text is now a means

Posted by Angela on February 28, 2012
Publishing, Technology, Writing / Comments Off

But where fixity enabled us to become better readers, can iteration make us better writers? If a text is never finished, does it demand our contribution? Fixity is important if you deem the text the end; but perhaps instead the text is now a means—to our own writing, our own thinking. Perhaps it is time for the margins to swell to the same size as the text.

— Mandy Brown, Deploy

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Writing inspiration

Posted by Angela on May 16, 2011
Inspiration, Writing / Comments Off

As I try to get back on track with daily writing (after failing to complete 100 Days), I am inspired by the words of other writers whose work I admire.

Write all the time, hone your voice, and make sure that you have a way of saying something that is yours and yours alone. Find a way to stand out. Be funny and be different. Live a life that gives you lots of stories. Love and laugh and make friends and get your heart broken and have stuff be messy and weird and sometimes too extreme. But make sure you write about it. Figure out how you feel about it. Write constantly, and be brave with your words.

Pamela Ribon, Your Parents Will Never Wish You This Life

I think there is this fear of writing badly, something primal about it, like: “This bad stuff is coming out of me…” Forget it! Let it float away and the good stuff follows. For me, the bad beginning is just something to build on. It’s no big deal. You have to give yourself permission to do that because you can’t expect to write regularly and always write well. That’s when people get into the habit of waiting for the good moments, and that is where I think writer’s block comes from. Like: It’s not happening. Well, maybe good writing isn’t happening, but let some bad writing happen. Let it happen!

Jennifer Egan, The Days of Yore interview

Writers are thieves. We steal moments and memories and now we steal minutes, too. We scramble for extra seconds and shove them in our pockets when no one is looking. If you want to write, you make it work. You make time. There’s really no other way.

Tahereh Mafi, Stealing Time to Make a Schedule

Finding your voice, finding courage, finding time…these are common struggles for me. Where do you find inspiration for writing?

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Learning how to breathe

Posted by Angela on March 09, 2011
Publishing, Writing / Comments Off

[P]ublishing, while far from dead, has not moved in one great big step from the world of ink and trees to that of pixels and tablets. Many small, sometimes halting, sometimes diverging paths are being followed, more or less simultaneously and with fascinating results. Digital publishing, it turns out, isn’t so much a second print run (as it seemed at first) as a whole other ecosystem, with a unique atmosphere, strange new rain patterns, and its own troubling signs of pollution and climate change. Diving into it means learning how to breathe all over again.

— Mandy Brown, Three

Further reading: The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane

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Line by line

Posted by Angela on February 15, 2011
Editing, Publishing / Comments Off

[…] the question is whether the image of the word-obsessed editor poring over a manuscript, red pen in hand, has given way to that of the whizz-bang entrepreneur attuned to the market’s latest caprice, more at home with a tweet than a metaphor.

— Alex Clark, The lost art of editing

Further reading: Semi-collected thoughts on editing

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Quote: Carolyn Kellogg

Posted by Angela on November 04, 2010
Reading, Writing / Comments Off

Literary culture isn’t a temple, it’s an ecosystem. Writers can be readers, readers can be critics, critics can be writers, audiences can have a voice.”

—Carolyn Kellogg, 12 reasons to ignore the naysayers: Do NaNoWriMo

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Quote: Ellen Lupton

Posted by Angela on September 05, 2010
Design, Inspiration, Publishing / 1 Comment

The book is alive. The book is paper, it’s print, it’s digital, it’s online, it’s on your phone, it’s in your purse, it’s under your pillow. The book is everywhere. The book is changing. What will we design next? We’ll keep designing the book, we’ll keep reinventing what it is, find new ways to read, new ways to write, new ways to publish, new ways to spread information.”

Ellen Lupton, Thirty Conversations on Design

via @_mkimball

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Quote: Larry Smith

Posted by Angela on May 21, 2010
Inspiration / Comments Off

Put the words down, don’t obsess over them, just effusively spill them down onto the page. Then step away—for an hour, a day, a week, whatever you need. And then edit. Edit like crazy. Be hard on words and yourself and make it better. And when you think you’re finished, edit it one more time.”

Larry Smith, The Happiness Project interview

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Quote: Steven Johnson

Posted by Angela on May 13, 2010
Publishing, Technology / Comments Off

We can try to put a protective layer of glass on the words, or we can embrace the idea that we are all better off when words are allowed to network with each other. What’s the point of going to all this trouble to build machines capable of displaying digital text if we can’t exploit the basic interactivity of that text?”

Steven Johnson, The Glass Box and the Commonplace Book, a Hearst New Media lecture given at Columbia University

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