Steve Martin never ceases to amaze me—sometimes by his audacity, sometimes by what he chooses to do (any number of recent movie projects illustrates this point, although our culture's current resistance to good film-making is not his fault). I digress, however—this is powerful, honest writing and I feel better for simply having read it. You go, Mr. Martin.
Scott Berkun has written a nice essay on writing—or more specifically, on overcoming writer's block. He leaves out the one that usually works for me: Work for an editor you don't want to disappoint. Of course, spending the money before you get the check works, too—although apparently not for everyone.
Robert Benchley said that a freelance is someone who gets paid by the word—per piece or perhaps. My problem isn't so much getting paid, but buckling down and getting the job done. BadLanguage.net has a list of 10 stratagems to do just that.
"In [Daniel Kehlmann's] first novel translated into English, the 31-year-old literary wunderkind's breezy, sometimes charming and ultimately inconsequential work follows the actual lives, careers and eventual intersection of two of Germany's brightest scientists: explorer, geographer and naturalist Alexander Von Humboldt and the astronomer and aptly crowned 'prince of mathematicians' Carl Friedrich Gauss."
As a member of the Park Slope Food Coop, I've been seeing signs warning of an international organic banana shortage for months now, but I assumed it was just a seasonal fluctuation, coupled with last year's brutal hurricane season. The New Scientist claims it may be a genetic apocalypse.