"Always, always, it requires a tremendous amount of reporting. Weeks and weeks of reporting. Hanging out with the subject of your piece, hoping some scene will emerge that because of where it is and what the dialogue is, will reveal that subject. Journeying to all sorts of places, hoping the trip will encounter drama, and meaning. Painstakingly re-creating a moment – like the one when the tsunami hit – through hundreds of interviews. It is arduous, all this reporting. The weeks, the months. And all this time, of course, costs money. A typical cover story in the Times Magazine, when you add up what we pay the author and what the expenses for travel are -- and this leaves out the editing and fact-checking costs, the photography, and so on -- the tally is north of $40,000, and often, if a war zone is involved, considerably more. Do we still have the time to report and read such pieces? And will we have the money? If the reader is an on-line reader, paying nothing, who is going to foot the bill?"You can read the rest here.
• Was glad to read some good news apparently for some smaller independent book stores.
• Author Allison Winn Scotch (novelist, magazine freelancer) regularly answers readers' questions about writing and publishing over on her blog.
• This week, another media outlet asked -- for what, the thousandth time? -- if poetry is dead. Funny, the question keeps being asked, year after year, for decades. And yet, poetry thrives.
• Simple, short advice, on so-called(?) writer's block and first draft phobia, via WriterJenn blog, which also frequently posts interviews with authors of new books –
"Write. Write it well, write it poorly, write it with margin notes and incomplete sentences; just get it down. Write."
•In my writing classes I don't have to "grade" papers, but if I did and it was getting to me, and I thought I needed a proven scientific guide, I might seriously consider this stress-free grading method.
Have a great weekend!