March 3rd, 2009

Egyptian hieroglyphics

The writer's favorite whine

A friend in my writing group (not my usual Helpful Friend) sent me a link to a great post on the Guardian in which several writers opine for a paragraph or so on how they feel about writing. Some of the writers professed not to enjoy writing. Some said they enjoyed writing but hated having to write on demand, for a book contract. It is extremely difficult for an unpublished writer to dredge up any level of sympathy for a novelist who whines about deadlines. It's rather like listening to a rock star complaining about having to tour to sold-out venues every night. Sure it's exhausting, but if you notice, he's not asking to change places with anyone.

The range of feelings varied from those who rated writing as painful to those who said it was a joy, with the-in-between folks liking some part of the process, such as editing. My favorite quote—the one I identified with most— came from writer Julie Myerson:

"I feel very lucky to be paid to do it, but even if I'd never been published, I think I'd still be writing. I love being read, but the person I'm really always writing for is me."

What she said.

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Kindle 2

Using an eReader periodically

I don't think anyone would argue that reading a book is a different experience from reading a magazine or a newspaper. Apparently, the folks at media giant Hearst Corporation (16 daily and 49 weekly newspapers) agree, as Fortune reports that they're working on developing a new periodical-friendly wireless eReader. According to the Fortune article, the Hearst business model involves selling the new eReaders to publishers, and then getting a cut of the revenue from magazine and newspaper e-sales.

Hearst refuses to give details, but if it's intended for magazines and newspapers, then their eReader is almost certainly closer to what Plastic Logic is working on than the Kindle. In fact, some folks wonder if it is Plastic Logic? PL's videos say they are aiming at business travelers and they made the screen 8"x11-1/2" so that it could accommodate magazine pages.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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