Rules for Writing True Stories

Here are a few personal rules for writing true stories.

How to Write a Book

In writing a book, you’re going to find all sorts of interesting ways to mentally beat yourself up. You’re going to consider new tools and different writing schedules. You’ll discover that inspiration can be encouraged, but never created. You’re going to find constructive ways to procrastinate and your friends are going to stop talking to you because all you talk about is that damned book.

Writing Books is Not A Good Idea

The New York Times caused a stir recently when, in an article about pandemic book sales, it disclosed that “98 percent of the books that publishers released in 2020 sold fewer than 5,000 copies.”

Though this statistic was shocking to many, it is not new information. People don’t read books—and the ones that do aren’t buying them.

Just Too Efficient

There is a point where the price is too high, and we’ve passed it.

Rediscovering the Small Web

Most websites today are built like commercial products by professionals and marketers, optimised to draw the largest audience, generate engagement, and “convert.” But there is also a smaller, less-visible web designed by regular people to simply to share their interests and hobbies with the world. A web that is unpolished, often quirky but often also fun, creative, and interesting.

Why Self-Defense Classes Don't Prevent Sexual Assault

Self-defense training can be a worthwhile venture, but when it comes to rape or sexual assault prevention, it just isn’t an effective one.

No One Will Read Your Book

The unicorns of the publishing industry allow us to dream that maybe, just maybe, our books will make it too.

Gas Station Indian Food

Thousands of restaurants in gas stations and truck stops are owned by immigrants selling the kinds of comfort foods they wish they could find outside their own homes.

On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs

It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working.

Six Books We Could and Should All Write

[This isn’t] about novels and plays and poems. And definitely not about great novels and plays and poems. It’s pointless to tell people to write stuff like that. Even the ones who want to can’t. And of course, most people don’t even want to.

[This] is different. It’s books anybody could write.

On The Experience of Being Poor-ish, For People Who Aren't

I’d like to offer my services as a sort of has-been-poor guide, to fill you in on what it’s like on the other side of the tracks.

Beef Is Expensive. So Why Are Cattle Ranchers Going Bankrupt?

During the Covid pandemic, Americans went to the supermarket and found something that hadn’t happened for decades — a meat shortage. There was plenty of cattle, but the beef wasn’t getting to the supermarket shelves.

Against an Increasingly User-Hostile Web

We’re quietly replacing an open web that connects and empowers with one that restricts and commoditizes people.

How the Blog Broke the Web

Dates didn’t matter all that much. Content lasted longer; there was less of it. Older content remained in view, too, because the dominant metaphor was table of contents rather than diary entry.

A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden

[T]aking a new approach to the way we publish personal knowledge on the web.