I'm trying to learn more about contemporary Indonesia, and I'd love book & essay recommendations, especially of narrative non-fiction with a strong first person narrative voice! (But I'd also love suggestions of fiction, good travelogues, podcasts, blogs, zines, films, academic articles--really anything that doesn't demand prior in depth knowledge.) [more inside]
I was convinced to start a blog under my real name, for the purposes of being visible on the internet in a positive light while applying for jobs. Unfortunately, now it's up, I hate it and never want to write anything there. Since my partner is sick of me wailing about it, I thought I'd ask you guys for tips on low-effort ways to post on a blog with a general theme of 'interesting science news'. [more inside]
I'm heading for a career change, and want to get better at my two passions: creative writing (creative non-fiction) and photography. I'm looking for a grad program that helps me integrate both so I can tell both my own stories and other people's (NGOs, Foundations, etc) more persuasively. [more inside]
I may have jumped the gun a bit in promising a friend that they could attend a writing workshop group we are starting. How should I navigate the resulting trickiness without marring any relationships? [more inside]
I need help coming up with a titular character of my book, someone who is sympathetic and sounds like a reasonable person to ask for advice. [more inside]
I went on a long, long break form my creative career cause I was feeling burnt out due to some failures and now I can't seem to get back into it, possibly because I no longer have a financial incentive to do so. How can I fix this? Warning: Long, super privileged person problems. [more inside]
I'm seeing a trend emerge, but I can't quite put my finger on how to identify it. Does it already have a name? If not, help me come up with one (for an article I'm writing). The article's jumping off point is RapGenius's foray into annotating everything not just lyrics, the NYTimes' Quips tool, Medium.com's paragraph-level commenting/annotation system, and Findings.com. [more inside]
I have inherited my grandmother's writings. I'm scanning them, doing OCR and in some cases retyping them so that I can have them digitized. I'd like to know, is there a format for text that is best for archival purposes? I was thinking of .rtf, since so many applications can open it. Is it considered "archival quality"?
Folks I know get published! Yay them! Go them! But shamefully, it.. the ...the flames, flames...on the side of my face...breathing...heaving breaths. How do I tame my inner envy monster? [more inside]
What films and/or podcasts would you recommend for someone interested in writing (mainly fiction and/or screenwriting)? So far, I've really enjoyed watching "Bad Writing" and "Tales from the Script."
I aspire to write beautifully -- what is some great writing that uses colorful, creative language and style? [more inside]
I'm looking for something written from a second generation Asian American perspective that starts with this premise: [My parents/family treat(ed) me badly] But does NOT end with this conclusion: [...but they are immigrants and don't know the culture so I can't really judge them, and they sacrificed so much for me and I feel guilty and they just wanted the best for me, so therefore, I love them to pieces]. [more inside]
Help me understand the editor hierarchy at the magazine I write for. Every article I do for them seems to take a different path, with different editors contacting me about different things, but it's never consistnet. I can never figure out if I'm communicating with the right person. [more inside]
A while ago I read an essay/article/rant online re a fantasy author / series and I'd like to read it again but google is failing me because I can't remember any specifics. [more inside]
Help me rescue my analytical faculties so I can survive the last months of grad school with my dignity intact. [more inside]
In older times, ships used to have sailors. These sailors had actual job functions, like adjusting the sails, checking on the rigging, etc. Later on, when ships were steam-powered, there were jobs like "putting coal in the engine" or "maintaining the boiler." However, in modern times, with all the technology in a cargo vessel, it seems to me that sailing it is something that could be done by a single person. So what do all the other sailors do? To put it another way, what are the actual "job functions" and titles of sailors about a modern cargo ship?
I am not casual. My job requires me to write casually. I keep getting told to be less "direct" in my intercommunication style with people. Oh yeah, and I'm an Aspie woman. [more inside]
I'm job hunting for the first time in a few years, and I just saw a perfectly delicious looking Content Editor gig at a women's apparel website. They want me to include my writing portfolio, for obvious reasons. What's the most current best practice for how this should be formatted and attached to my application email? I have a variety of blog, website, and social media content from my current and former jobs. Should I just pick my favorite clips, toss them in a word doc, and attach it? Something fancier? Any formatting specifics? Should I also include a link to my personal website with more samples? Thanks, writerly Mefites!
I read a lot, and my receptive vocabulary is excellent. However, no so much on the expressive side. I tend to repeat the same word over and over in my writing, and sometimes have difficulty picking appropriate word to succinctly capture a concept. So, what's a good and specific exercise(s) for increasing one's expressive vocabulary?
Years ago (years!) I recall a TV show with Carl Sagan wherein he was standing in a library and made the point that if he read x books per week for x number of years then he would have read a small fraction of the books that have ever been written. His point was that even a well-read person can only ingest a fraction of what is out there. I've always like that quote and would like to find this scene on YouTube or another site... Anyone?
A friend of a friend posted a picture of a note to facebook. Can any of you identify the language and offer a translation of what it says? [more inside]
When I lived in Chicago, there was a great late-night coffee shop called New Wave Cafe in Logan Square that was perfect for after-work writing. I've been having a hard time finding a similar spot since moving to NYC. It doesn't need to be a coffee shop, but it does need to be well-lit enough that I can read, and calm enough that I won't be seen as preventing the establishment from doing business. Bonus points if the place has a neighborhood-y feel with a friendly staff. I live in Greenpoint, work in SoHo, and usually commute via bicycle over the Williamsburg Bridge. Any suggestions, Metafilter?
There are Latin fonts designed to mimic Cyrillic, Asian characters, and many other scripts. What are some examples of foreign-script fonts which mimic Latin characters?
I started freelance writing recently and have met a couple of people who are dream contacts -- a literary agent who's reached out to me for book ideas, and an editor who offered to have lunch with me to see what else I might contribute to their publication. The problem is, I'm very new to this and, though thrilled to be able to write for an audience, am really struggling between courageous ambition and compulsive self-effacement. I know creative producers go through this all the time. However, my question is: how do I take advantage of these opportunities ASAP in spite of it? [more inside]
Professional communicators of Metafilter: Please give me your tips for handling subject matter experts who write poorly, but don't know it. When a colleague is adamant that their disorganised writing and grammatical errors Must Not Be Changed, how do you respond? [more inside]
Are there any blog/writing websites out there that are like Thought Catalog, but slightly more... mature I guess? Without the high-school/college drama or pop culture nonsense. Sometimes I feel just slightly too old for TC's target demographic. :/ But I do enjoy reading short blog posts from a variety of authors. Thanks in advance
I've been writing short fiction. I've got my process down pretty well, to the point that I am not getting stuck in writer's block hell or any other common pitfalls. I have ideas, and I'm capable of getting them down on paper. I revise them, I produce new drafts, etc. My problem comes in the last phase of the process. I don't know when to say something is done. [more inside]
Are there other simple-to-express checks like the Bechdel Test for measuring gender bias and feminism in fiction? I try hard to make sure I'm being a decent feminist as a writer -- I'm a guy, I tend to write with male protagonists but with a lot of female characters involved, and I worry about my blind spots. [more inside]
For the last few years, I have reviewed every book I read on Goodreads, just for my own edification. I read a lot. I have written a lot. Is there a better use to put this content to? [more inside]
I'm looking for something in Los Angeles that is similar to the Loft in Minneapolis - writing classes for all abilities and ambitions. I am not looking to write the next Pulp Fiction, only to have fun and actually write. I've found one potential place so far - this is a big city!! I must be missing something... right? [more inside]
I'm 31 years old and looking for a career change. I've come to love research and I've always loved reading nonfiction and true crime as well as the exposé articles often published by alternative weeklies. What are some careers that would fit these interests, and how do I work my way towards those careers? [more inside]
I can't think properly while online. Nor can I think properly if the Internet is a few clicks away. So I am looking for a laptop that can run Open Office, Adobe, and MS Word, has a USB port for swapping files on and off. It must not be capable of connecting to the Internet, at least not wirelessly. Alternately, I'd be interested in ways to permanently disable the wireless on my old unibody MacBook Pro, model 1.1. Then I could buy a second laptop for Internet purposes. The goal is two laptops--one that's capable of online work and one that is not.
There seems to be huge number of online work/project tracking/logging programs out there, but they are mostly designed for small businesses and freelancers (e.g. focussed on invoicing) and charge by the month. I've seen a few that look OK like Toggl and Slimtimer but none that seems ideal for my needs yet. Can anyone recommend ones (ideally free and with the ability to track different tasks & share that tracking/logging) that are easy to use, have decent functionality, and would be good for 2 friends working on writing their PhD theses and would like to try and help each other keep track of how much work they're doing? [more inside]
I'm submitting a story to a fiction contest, attaching it to an email. Other than the contest guidelines, is there anything else I need to do to the document or be aware of?
I've got a brand new (refurb) Retina MacBook Pro, fresh out of the cellophane wrapper. I've been eking out a slow and cluttered existence on a combination of my iPad mini, my oldish Mac Mini, my iPhone, and a desktop Windows machine (for gaming) for a couple of years. I haven't had a laptop in... I can't even remember if I have ever had a laptop. Help me find the perfect set of apps for it? Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
I'm looking for myths/stories about books and writing. Not - and this is where I'm running into trouble with google - top ten lists about cafe productivity and self-publishing; I mean more like a hero whittling a pen from the boughs of Yggdrasil and then stealing ink from the Kraken, with the goal of writing down the secrets of Enki in order to embarrass him and get him to pay the 5 goats owed. Or whatever. Any location/time is fine! Can be short, can be long.
I need an editor (copy and content) for an edgy, non-traditional chapbook of poems. Word count is light -- around 4,000. Budget is nearly non-existent (this is an art project) but there would be some kind of honorarium attached. Can someone help me find a good, trusty editor?
I've tried several different writing groups and classes. Each ended up being 10% writing and 90% sitting around in a circle giving "three positives and three negatives!" about other writers' submissions. I don't want to do that. [more inside]
I'm a freelance writer in the second year of my career, as well as a lifelong creative writer with several published works. I've done a lot of performing arts blogging and local news writing and I'd like to build on that and get into more paying work as well as increase my publication credits. I've been recommended to join Writer's Market. Have others had worthwhile experiences with the service? Also happy to hear about other options. Thanks!
I'd like to get more into freelance copywriting. It's something I can do from home, and I'm pretty good at it. I have a money and time goal for it. Money: 5 cents a word Time: 15 hours a week Total: About $1,500 a month. I'm on Textbroker, but they rarely pay more than 1.5 cents a word. I'm open to pay-by-project too, if they're consistent. How would I go about finding regular clients/websites that could help me reach my goal?
When I'm racing to meet a writing deadline, I feel a sense of exhilaration, momentum, and flow. How can achieve that state on a regular basis so I can make steady progress on my writing? [more inside]
I have a perfect notebook, left over from college, and would love to find more just like it. But it has no branding -- I have no idea who manufactured the darn thing. My school doesn't seem to sell them anymore. It's 7" by 10", double-wire bound, cloth hardcover, with nice lined pages. Each page has a little recycling triangle symbol on it (indicating 100 percent recycled). Pics inside. Anyone know who could've made it, or where to find the same? Many thanks! [more inside]
It's been almost 10 years since I last changed jobs and it's also been that long since I've written a resume. I'd like to get some (hopefully) expert opinion and editing to bring my resume up to date, both to reflect the skills/experience I've gained and ensure that it is in a format that will be acceptable to recruiters/companies. Has anyone used a resume service recently that you've been pleased with? (I'm located in the NYC metro area if that makes a difference).
In the last 9 years, I've written a Russian novel's worth of blog comments. Can you help me channel this energy into personal writing projects? NOTE : I am NOT interested in blogging. [more inside]
I work as a journalist. However, I only get articles in publications due to my personal relationships with the editor(s). I've never been able to send in an unsolicited pitch and have it accepted. [more inside]
For a friend: I’m writing about a fictional, Polynesian-inspired trickster god for a game. What are some resources I can consult so my storylines are respectful and grounded in authentic myth? Ideally, these sources will be fun to read as well.
When addressing a formal or business letter to multiple parties, say, A, B, and C, is there a rule for the order, e.g. by how important people are? I.e. if A is more important than B is more important than C, is it: Dear Mr. A, Ms. B and Dr. C: or Dear Dr. C., Ms. B and Mr. A: and are there style guides that I can reference for this? [more inside]
How Do I Write My First Book? I'm a bit shy and uncertain about the whole process and need some help in understanding how to just let the words and story gel into something readable. [more inside]
Let's say that certain phases of my life were already written in a book 70 - 100 years ago by someone, who was either a futurist of a scifi-writer. Let's also say that there are people, who want to make sure - for some yet unknown reason - that I live through those phases and that my personality gets developed similarly to some character's personality in that book. The book would have been written a long time before I was born. Now, what kind of search engines and what kind of search strategies I should use to become sure that there actually is such a book? There might exists traces of revitalizing of the book, if the original writer didn't make good enough guesses about the future.
I lead a team of podcasters. They're all great people--intelligent, articulate, and very good speakers. We now wish to translate our spoken success to the page, and our early attempts have shown that despite the successes we have as speakers we're finding our writing skill (specifically in regards to concise, clear, engaging, and personable communication through the written word) is in need of honing. I need suggestions how to do that. [more inside]