Some interesting items I've picked up in my travels around the Internet.
It sucks, but we love working here...
In October, Publishing Trends published the results of its First Annual Industry Survey, in which publishing professionals were asked how they feel about the wacky world of publishing. Interesting stuff. Here's a taste:
- What respondents felt were the worst aspects of the industry: compensation (39%) and the instability of the market (38%).
- Over half of all editors responding also identified themselves as writers.
- When asked about the best and worst aspects of the industry, twice as many respondents wrote in with complaints as with praise--yet about 32% say they'd never consider leaving their jobs, and another 18.5% only rarely feel frustrated enough to consider quitting.
Writers, get moving!
Writing is a notoriously sedentary activity. Whether you're "in flow" and have lost all track of time, or are paralyzed in front of your computer screen by the fact that you have absolutely no idea what to write next, it's easy to let hours slip by without getting up from your chair. If you also have a family, a day job, a hobby, or any of the other responsibilities and duties and pleasures known as "life", finding time for exercise can seem impossible.
We all know exercise is good for us. People who exercise regularly weigh less, live longer, and have fewer chronic diseases than people who don't. Regular exercise also helps ease insomnia and depression--a pair of afflictions to which writers seem to be particularly prone.
Now there's news that exercise may actually boost your creativity. According to a recent study by scientists at Rhode Island College, exercise enhances creativity not just immediately following exercise, but for several hours afterward. According to the study abstract:
The results supported the hypotheses that creative potential will be greater on completion of moderate aerobic exercise than when not preceded by exercise (immediate effects), that creative potential will be greater following a 2-hr lag time following exercise than when not preceded by exercise (residual effects), and that creative potential will not be significantly different immediately following exercise than after a 2-hr lag time following exercise (enduring residual effects).
I'm a bit of an exercise nut, and have been for many years. I exercise for an hour a day at least five days a week, dividing it about 50/50 between moderate exercise (brisk walking) and vigorous exercise (running, stairclimbing, elliptical trainer). I've followed this routine for so long that I can't really say whether it enhances my creativity--but I do know that when I'm planning a book, working out the shape of my next chapter, trying to solve some knotty character problem, or just plain stuck, I need to be on my feet. A fast four-mile walk never fails to focus my mind, move me forward in my planning and/or problem solving, and revive my enthusiasm. For me, nothing else works as well.
(Thanks to the Guardian UK's book blog for this reference.)
No, you will not have to pay. Yes, you will have to give us money.
The rationalization of the week award goes to vanity publisher Starving Writers Publishing, for its inspired explanation of why a fee is not a fee. To writers who ask Do I have to pay a fee to get published, Starving Writers responds:
No, you will never have to pay a fee to get your book published. We are a independent traditional or trade publisher. Our service fees are simply that - fees for services such as editing, cover design, and marketing to help make your book better so it will be a book that we select for publishing. We always reserve the right to reject your work if its not something we want to publish even if you are willing to pay the service fees.
So...because you pay before publication, it's not a fee, even though if you don't pay, you won't get published. And because Starving Writers may decide to kick you to the curb even as you're pulling out your credit card, it's also not a fee, even though if they choose you, they'll be glad to take your money.