What I'm Reading...

The urge to write

Cory Doctorow and the urge to write:

I’m the coeditor and co-owner of a website called Boing Boing, and I’ve spent the past ten years writing about ten blog posts a day, every day. I often find myself unable to think about anything in any depth without writing a blog post about it to check whether I understand it sufficiently to convey it to someone else. — Cory Doctorow, Information Doesn”t Want to Be Free

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Neal Stephenson on Deep Work

Neal Stephenson writes speculative fiction. In his books, he explores subjects such as mathematics, cryptography, linguistics, philosophy, currency, and the history of science.

Writing novels is hard, and requires vast, unbroken slabs of time. Four quiet hours is a resource that I can put to good use. Two slabs of time, each two hours long, might add up to the same four hours, but are not nearly as productive as an unbroken four. If I know that I am going to be interrupted, I can’t concentrate, and if I suspect that I might be interrupted, I can’t do anything at all. Likewise, several consecutive days with four-hour time-slabs in them give me a stretch of time in which I can write a decent book chapter, but the same number of hours spread out across a few weeks, with interruptions in between them, are nearly useless. – Neal Stephenson, Why I am a bad correspondent

deep-work focus neal-stepheson writing

Designate someone to represent your audience

Stephen King advises that you designate someone you know, you trust, and whom you think represents the audience of your work to act as “The Reader.” Then, write for that person. They don’t even have to know that you’re doing this. In his case, it’s his wife, and she eventually does read his drafts, but he always keeps her in mind when writing and directs everything he creates at her. – Gareth Branwyn, How to Be a Better Writer

stephen-king target-audience writing

Attention Span

They joined Facebook to stay in touch with friends across the country, and then ended up unable to maintain an uninterrupted conversation with the friend sitting across the table. – Cal Newport, Digital Minimalsm.

Replace Facebook with your favorite social network or messaging app.

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