The latest update from your friendly neighborhood author and former agent.

This week in books 10/21/16

Oct 21, 2016 01:17 pm | (Nathan Bransford)

Photo by me. I'm on Instagram here.

A Friday roundup! Five posts in one week! We are back!

(Well, assuming the Internet doesn't continue to melt down).

I had my eye out for links, and now I am delivering them to you. Also, quick reminder before I get to them: I'm available for your editing and consulting needs! Feel free to reach out.

First up, you know how you want to *just be a writer* and want your future publisher to handle all the rest? Reminder from BookEnds about that fantasy: Not going to happen.

You may recall that Mr. Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature. In Bob Dylan's latest Dylan-esque move, it seems the Nobel committee is having trouble getting a hold of him.

Jonathan Franzen once said, "What is fiction if not purposeful dreaming?" Well, I read a pretty fascinating article on actual dreaming, which has some of the leading theories on what dreams really are.

In the latest salvo in the publishers vs. free guerrilla war, The Atlantic is going to block people who use ad-blockers, offering them a paid ad-free option. Makes sense to me.

Kindle Unlimited authors have you noticed a pages-read drop? Publishers Marketplace reported on complaints from authors (link is subscription only), which Amazon addressed here and here.

Author Frances Mayes reflects 20 years after the publication on Under the Tuscan Sun and what the experience taught her about taking risks. I particularly loved this passage: "When I sprang from my comfortable university career into a new life in a foreign country, I took a big risk. Some of the best decisions we make come from that inner voice that says “Why not?” That says “Andiamo.” So much disappointment arises from what is desired but not chosen."


Freelancers Union pointed me to this hilarious flow chart on whether you should work for free.

Author Curtis Sittenfeld talked about the joys and perils of book reviews (via Jennifer Weiner).

Comment! of! the! week! goes to a very fitting individual now that we're back in the swing of things. In response to my post about the guilt of not-writing, Bryan Russell writes:
I feel like there's a line that you have to tread. You have to decide what is simply excuse-making (i.e., serial procrastination) and what is real. I save the guilt for excuse-making because this is simply my conscience reminding me that the little devil on my shoulder just won a round. But I don't let myself feel guilty about what is real. Sometimes life interferes, and there are things you can't control. You have to be able to forgive yourself. Creation takes energy. This is the physics of the imagination. But sometimes you don't have enough energy left to force those atoms to bounce and collide inside your skull and spark that frisson of energy needed to make something on the page. Be it a day job, be it illness or disease, be it a death in the family, or be it parenthood, sometimes the energy simply isn't there. And this is okay. It's renewable energy, luckily. Wind, water, and sun. So forgive yourself and come back later. Give your head a few knocks and the atoms will start bouncing armours again. 
And finally, Jennifer Hubbard has a fantastic reminder for writers in the throes of doubt: Trust the story.

Have a great weekend!
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More to read:

Your handy NaNoWriMo prep
What's your biggest challenge as a writer?
That uncomfortable feeling when writers don't write
The past few months in books 10/17/16
I'm back! (And available for editing and consulting)
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