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Required Reading

1 August 2012

Writers write. Isn’t that the old adage? It brings to mind an image of the Shakespeare-era scribe, bent over his table scribbling. Or perhaps the hard-boiled detective-novelist type, crouched over his manual typewriter, only pausing to work the carriage return.

Somehow, this is never the image people have. Perhaps because my excessively hairy hands disturb and frighten them.

But writers don’t just write exclusively. They’re like normal human beings in many respects. They sleep. They eat. They watch Mad Men and Breaking Bad (and, researchers theorize, shows that aren’t on AMC). And if they’re any good as writers, they also read. A lot.

I read a bit of everything — books, comics, screenplays (one of which I’ll speak of here tomorrow). And I read blogs — several of them. A lot of talented people I know, and some I don’t, produce fantastic content off the top of their heads, and I believe there’s something valuable in blogging, both writing entries and reading them. Here are a couple of blogs on my don’t miss list.

Joe The Peacock’s Blog

I know Joe. I’ve worked with Joe (I hired him years back as a freelance writer, and he was one of those that I could always call in a clutch). I’ve driven six hours each way to go to his book release parties, and made his Art of Akira exhibition appointment-viewing. He’s a great writer, and a good guy to go out for a meal and a three-hour conversation with. And while I may not always agree with his views on everything, I read every blog post he writes — if for no other reason, they force me to look at my own ideas on the subject he’s writing about that day. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t changed the way I looked at a few issues by reading Joe’s stuff.

The Juggling Writer

Christopher has been by this blog before, and his interview is still one of the most-read I’ve ever done. Christopher’s a novelist, a working writer, and a hell of a great guy. Unlike Joe’s blog, I rarely disagree with anything Christopher says — but like Joe, he forces me to take a look at something I thought I knew and find out where I really stand on it. The blog’s ostensibly about writing, but it’s so much more than that.


It’s amazing how you can sit next to a guy for a year straight and not really know who he is. Blaine, the gent who writes this fantastic blog, was my desk-mate from mid-2003 to mid-2004 when I worked in the tech magazine industry. I knew him as a quiet, zenlike guy who had excellent taste in music, films, and TV — if Blaine recommended something, you could take that to the bank. He’s all those things I just mentioned, but he’s also a fantastic writer running an excellent blog about finding the positivity in the everyday. His daily blog entries are one of those things I try never to miss.

Those are just a few of the blogs I read every day (or every time the author posts, anyway). What about you, folks? What’s on your reading list?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 1 August 2012 0556

    What’s on my reading list? There’s this Kupfer guy with a blog I read… 😉 You turned me on to Joe’s blog. Like you, I don’t always agree with Joe, but it’s become a fave read. What I like most about Joe’s stuff…he tempers his edge with some incredibly positive stuff. I respect the hell out of people who can reveal many facets about themselves like he does.

    In recent years, I’ve become a fan of Chuck Wendig’s Terribleminds, and there’s something I find soothing in Paul Lamb’s blog.

    And just to look at stuff, I’m a sucker for Drawn and The Sartorialist. Oh, and Bike EXIF.

    And now I’m off to check out Blaine’s blog…

  2. 2 August 2012 0319

    I’ve not seen Mad Men or Breaking Bad. I don’t watch much television at all though. And, oddly, I don’t read as much as I used to. Writing, working, living seem to take all of my time.

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