Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cleaning My Desk

I finished the draft of the second Hannah and Brandon book Monday and mailed it yesterday. That means that yesterday afternoon I started cleaning my desk.

When I clean my desk, I always find bits of paper with website urls written on them. Often I've never visited the sites. Even more often, I can't remember why I was interested in the first place.

This time I had a magazine on my desk with a whole list of recommended websites for writers. I had started going through them months ago and given up. Yesterday, I continued the job.

Many of these sites were very busy and cluttered. They definitely didn't encourage anyone to stay and browse. They could have used a little feng shui. Or a lot.

A number of these sites were also marketing products to writers. There's nothing wrong with that, but many of them seemed to be selling similar things--writing coaches, editing services, workshops, on-line courses, writers' groups. A beginning writer could just be overwhelmed with this stuff.

I found one site I liked. Bill Thompson's Eye on Books is described as "Author Interviews You Can Listen To." The site includes a page called The Writer's Craft where you can find authors speaking for just a few minutes on one particular aspect of what they do. I only checked out one interview--with Adam Gopnik because I've read his book Paris to the Moon, and his interview was on the first-person essay. I thought what he had to say was very interesting and helpful. And, bless him, he said it in just a minute and thirty-two seconds.

So this is something good I found while cleaning my desk. I'm guessing I'll be working on this job for another couple of days. I wish I'd taken a picture to post before I started. Too late now.


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