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  • The blog of Jonathan Bing.

    I’m a kidlit writer, specializing in middle grade and picture books. As I run across things curious, newsworthy or outlandishly wonderful, I’ll catch and collect my thoughts below.

    The best places to find me are on Twitter and on Facebook. Swing by and say hi!

  • Prince, and that time he wore a flying-squirrel suit

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    The day after Prince died, I met with three friends over lunch to process the death of our neighbor and resident savant. What amazes me most is how much he created. It amazes me because I know this: the act of writing, painting, singing, sculpting and being Prince is hard.

    All craft requires one thing: showing up. We need to show up often at our laptop, amp, easel, loom, piano or stage and find what’s in us at that moment. Many times, what’s in us is nothing. Or, worse, it’s crappy. Or, worse worse, we read what we wrote last month and realize we have to start over.

    Picture those insane athletes, 10,000 feet up, wearing human-flying-squirrel suits, about to step off a cliff—that’s how showing up can feel and why, as artists, we avoid it.

  • Self-made writers, and other fictions.

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    I’ve been following the reactions to Nate Thayer’s post of his email exchange with The Atlantic after they had asked him to write for free. Cord Jefferson at Gawker (yes, Gawker) has the most clear-eyed assessment I’ve read.

    Cord hits the truth of it — most writers start out writing for little (or nothing) because others around them provide support. We get pushed along by family and friends until we feel the wobble of our writing career disappear.

  • That’s a lot of embarrassed readers.

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    Fifty-eight percent of us with e-readers use the devices to hide what we read. This number feels huge.

    While I’ve only read one book on the iPad—a re-read of the first Harry Potter with my son—according to The Daily Mail, that book is one reason for all the hiding.