|Photo by me. Follow me on Instagram! @NathanBransford|
First up, thank you to everyone who weighed in on the two posts last week (here and here) about how authors should navigate politics on social media. The discussion was almost entirely wonderful and positive, even when people disagreed, which is not something I take for granted in this charged up day and age. I highly recommend checking out the two threads for some thoughtful discussion.
And now, a “fair warning” about this here blog that I am so very thankful you peruse from time to time
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking almost nonstop about the election. About where we go from here, about what I can do, and about how we’re going to navigate a world, and especially a social media world, where it seems like almost everything is political.
I have some ideas about all of this that I’d like to tease out, and especially because I have such a wonderfully positive and diverse group of people who read and comment on this blog, I’d like to use this as a test ground for some of those ideas. Basically I’d like to use this space as sandbox. Let’s build some castles!
So… here’s my fair warning to those of you who read and subscribe: this blog will no longer be an entirely politics-free space.
But here’s my pledge to you:
- I do not intend to turn this blog over to *only* politics. This will still primarily be a place where we talk about writing, reading, and all those things you’ve come to expect. This is not a bait and switch. Don’t care about politics? Feel free to skip on past those posts.
- When I do post about things related to politics, I do not intend to be strident or to be unwelcome to people who disagree with me. I want this to be a safe space for people of all views.
- In fact, if you want to thoughtfully disagree with me I WANT YOU HERE. Please stay. I want to learn from you.
- Unless you’re a jerk. Jerks of all stripes will be unwelcome.
Still surprised Trump won? The NY Times has a list of 6 books to read to help you understand it.
And if you’re having trouble dealing with the election, the LA Times has a great recommendation: head to the library.
And if you’re really really having trouble dealing with the election, YA author Ellen Hopkins has a message for you: we’re not getting over it and we don’t have to.
And if you’re really really really having trouble dealing with the election, if may be of some small comfort to know that Octavia Butler totally saw it coming.
So is Bob Dylan actually going to show up to accept the Nobel Prize in Literature? Probably not.
In writing advice news, yours truly was featured in an interview with Kelly Q. Anderson, where I touched on such things as dealing with rejection (sometimes from the fetal position) and advice for embracing the right kind of fear.
One of the challenging things about editing-as-you can go is that while it can sometimes be helpful, it can also be an unproductive sinkhole of time that stops you from what you really need to be doing, which is charging forth. Writing Helping Writers has some ideas on how to navigate that.
In agent news, Jessica Faust talks about the advantage of an agent who really knows you.
Comment! of! the! week! There were so many good comments last week, thank you so much to everyone. For Comment of the Week I’m going with Alexandroid, who has a short but eloquent post on how empiricism is the answer to the fracturing of truth:
I think our only hope is to build a culture where people value evidence based arguments over conspiracy theories, where critical thinking and scientific method are taught and praised but speculations and poor fact checking are considered unethical and looked down upon. We will never be able to get objective truth but at least we can affect our common mindset and lens. We’ve done this before with things like valuing life, empathy and honesty, there is no reason we could not do it again as a society and civilization at large.
And finally, people of all political stripes have been longing lately to return to a more innocent time. In order to bring you back to some halcyon days, I give you… CNN’s wonderfully ludicrous in-studio “hologram” effect during the 2008 election (email subscribers, please click “Read More” below to see):
Have a great week!