“When trouble strikes, head to the library. You will either be able to solve the problem, or simply have something to read as the world crashes down around you.”—Lemony Snicket (via dailydoseofbookssauce)
“Get someone else to read your story to you. Many say read your work out loud and this does help but I believe you still hear in your head what you wanted to write. When someone else reads it you stop hearing what you wanted to say and hear exactly what you’ve written.”—
“Ultimately, my whole approach to what I do is 95% effort and 5% talent. I really see it as a sport. You probably won’t become a tennis player if you don’t stand on the court for six hours a day and whack balls over the net. And if you do that, you have to be incredibly untalented for it not to work. But I think it’s tempting to think as a creative professional, you sit there and you’re creative. So much of it is just doing it everyday for hours.”—Christoph Niemann, Short Deadlines Make You Think Straight (via dept-of-research-and-development)
“…at some point a book ceases being one thing and becomes something else. First the book is a bundle of story, characters, themes that you massage for a few years. Then it kind of shifts and becomes a physical object, which needs a cover and paper and glue to hold it together. Then it transitions again to being a product. Products need marketing and promotion. All these various “life cycles” require a lot of care and attention to detail and I think shortchanging any individual stage (creation, production, marketing) can really fail the book as a whole.”—Jillian Tamaki (via dept-of-research-and-development)
“I have predominantly negative feelings about most of my work, so I just try to make the next thing I do better than the last thing. I feel like it’s important to be dissatisfied with everything you’re working on because it means you’re straining yourself. If things start coming easily to you or you are too much in your comfort zone, you are possibly being boring and drawing something shitty.”—Michael DeForge (via dept-of-research-and-development)
“In describing a fairy-story which they think adults might possibly read for their own entertainment, reviewers frequently indulge in such waggeries as: “this book is for children from the ages of six to sixty.” But I have never yet seen the puff of a new motor-model that began thus: “this toy will amuse infants from seventeen to seventy”; though that to my mind would be much more appropriate. Is there any essential connexion between children and fairy-stories? Is there any call for comment, if an adult reads them for himself? Reads them as tales, that is, not studies them as curios. Adults are allowed to collect and study anything, even old theatre programmes or paper bags. … I think this is an error; at best an error of false sentiment, and one that is therefore most often made by those who, for whatever private reason (such as childlessness), tend to think of children as a special kind of creature, almost a different race, rather than as normal, if immature, members of a particular family, and of the human family at large.”—J. R. R. Tolkien on fantasy and writing for children (via dept-of-research-and-development)
“Don’t wait for permission to make something that’s interesting or amusing to you. Just do it now. Don’t wait. Find a story idea, start making it, give yourself a deadline, show it to people who’ll give you notes to make it better. Don’t wait till you’re older, or in some better job than you have now. Don’t wait for anything. Don’t wait till some magical story idea drops into your lap. That’s not where ideas come from. Go looking for an idea and it’ll show up. Begin now. Be a fucking soldier about it and be tough.”—
Quick tip for things to do immediately post-interview:
When I come out of an interview, I jot down the things I remember as being my favorite moments. For an hour-long interview usually it’s just four or five moments, but if out I’m reporting all day, I’ll spend over an hour at night typing out every favorite thing that happened. This is handier than you might think. Often this short list of favorite things will provide the backbone to the structure to my story.
Read through for the gear This American Life uses and its editing process.