Spend time with writerfriends, especially if you work from home and don’t have “coworkers.” You do have coworkers—they’re the people in your field who you know and trust and tweet with and email with and would like to know. Internet writerfriends are still writerfriends, and they’re great candidates to becomes real life friends.
If you’re socially awkward and/or anxious like me and every other writer, do your best to push through that when you can. You’ll pretty much always be glad you did. There’s a high premium on HUMAN CONNECTION, and you don’t really get it on the internest very often.
also: cultivate writerfriendships that allow you two (or more) to get together and not just “hang out” but to also both be working on your computers or phones or notebooks. it’s not only fine, it’s fun, and challenging, and awesome.
blogging in america is really happening guys. Follow, pass to your writer friends, have fun.
"Freelance writer" is what I wrote on my taxes from January 2012 to September 2013; then I had a steady staff writer job for a website for a year. I’m going back to freelancing a hundred times more prepared than I was last time. This is about that.
1: new collection of music hits the internet. this artist is one of the people/things I can write capably and enthusiastically about. 2: download + start listening ASAP (a guy tweeted at me to announce this mixtape’s arrival; bless him; bless the internest) 3: email hip-hop magazine editor who recently said “let’s do some stuff” 4: wait a short while 5: call hip-hop magazine editor to gauge interest/see if he’s got someone writing about this artist already (unsaid: if he doesn’t want this particular piece, I have to start emailing pitches to other places; I’ve got five blogs in mind, ordered hierarchically in my head, my google “Work” doc, and my whiteboard. been preparing for this artist to reappear, it’s been on my “Culture Cal” google doc) 6: editor says yes on the phone 7: listen, take notes, listen, write, listen, edit, listen, file 1,200 words on time (also: stress a lot about it being the first piece I’m writing for this editor and this publication) 8:publish 8: invoice, get paid, send new pitches
Here’s a playlist for Eels newbs or Eels fanatics. It’s all the last songs from all the albums, chronologically (with two live album kickers at the end). Every finale on an Eels album is a momentous, moving song. Enjoy. Be soothed. And maybe even rock out a tiny bit.
Amazon’s incredible original series Transparent stars Jeffrey Tambor as 70-year-old Maura. She’s lived most of her life as a man, and now she’s coming out to her dysfunctional-but-committed Los Angeles family. The series owes much to its honest performances, sharp writing, deft direction, and light-touch piano score from Dustin O’Halloran. But another critical element of what makes Transparent Must-Binge-Watch television is the next-level soundtrack selected by music supervisor Bruce Gilbert. He also worked on Orange Is the New Black and the indie smash Afternoon Delight, which was directed by Transparent creator Jill Soloway. Also: Gilbert and Soloway are married.
Gilbert’s almost uniformly cozy, instantaneously just-right song choices elevate Transparent to another level, even though it already exists on another level. The cuts range from Neil Young to Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes to the Yardbirds to Gotye’s 2012 smash “Somebody That I Used to Know,” in probably the best scene we’ll ever see the commonly used song set to. Transparent‘s soundtrack is the soundtrack to the Pfefferman family, the family we’re watching in what’s essentially a five-hour, ten-part movie.
Gilbert, 41, has been a music supervisor for a hot minute. He did four years on Weeds as well as working on Orange Is the New Black andChildrens Hospital. Our conversation touched on the making ofTransparent and the specifics of seven great musical moments on the show. (We’ve also got the Transparent Spotify playlist you need.) Grab a fuzzy blanket, plug in your headphones, and press play.
“You never get to the point where you think “I am the adult”, but you do get to the point where you think “I’ve dealt with this before.” The older you get, the higher and higher the percentage is of things you’ve already been through. Have you ever changed a tire? Had a flat tire? Someday, you might, and the next time it happens, you’ll know what to do, since you’ve already done it.”—[someone on Tumblr??’s] dad. [he or she] is 24, and asked if you ever shake the feeling of not being an adult, and this was Dad’s response. Probably the most comforting thing he could have said. (via sherlockw)
Two days before I meet Himanshu Kumar Suri, a.k.a. Heems, a.k.a. one of the two rappers who brought “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” into the world, he tweets, “Here Lies The Fat Guy From That Das Racist Fad.”
On a warm Wednesday in Brooklyn in early August, Heems isn’t fat, or even chubby, but he does seem exhausted enough to drop at any second. The 29-year-old Queens native looks stunning in an African-print inspired suit made from deep-hued fabrics he discovered in Thailand. Instead of a chain, he’s got a necklace of chunky rudraksha seeds. Later, I’ll find out rudraksha is spiritually significant in Hinduism and can be worn to ward off unhealthy habits.
Once we’re seated at adjacent corners of a table at Baby’s All Right, a restaurant/venue in Williamsburg, I mention that Heems looks sharp but not exactly well. “How should I be right now?” he mumbles. “How would you expect me to be?” I have no idea how he feels about doing this interview. His reply to my initial email request for a profile was “yes yes yes so down.” A few days later, by text: “Im in bk now can meet. well talk outside or at the fried chicken spot. But I gotta leave in an hour.” Then, earlier today: “U can ask me follow ups after the set but ill be drunk then.”
Big piece, guys. Enjoy, and please share with fans of Heems, Das Racist, stories, internet, music, hip-hop, life.
HBO finally (finally) picked up a seven-episode second season of The Leftovers. It’s now aired six episodes of the first, so this is a relatively late-coming vote of confidence. We asked the Grantland staff: Are you in or out on the show? Are you sticking with it? Does knowing there will be an entire new season of gloomy mysteries make you more inclined to watch or to catch up? Lightning round, go
If you want to really hear Robin Williams - really hear him - you should listen to this incredibly moving interview he did with Marc Maron circa 2010.
It was the very first thing I thought about when I heard the terrible news of Williams’ death today. He talks so honestly and frankly about his alcoholism, his divorce, his depression, and so many other things.
If people are going to talk about Robin Williams’ mental health in order to raise awareness, please understand that he had bipolar disorder. And please understand that it is different from clinical depression. It requires awareness and understanding just as much as depression.
Both very important to pay attention to, learn about, talk about. Among all mental illnesses and disorders.