Inspired | April 2019

Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in April.

Learning to Feel the Shape of Stories by Marina J. Lostetter

At this point, I was still gobbling up whatever pointers I could get. But I also started noticing a trend. Generally speaking, the more someone had published and the longer they’d been in the industry, the more vague their advice became. There were fewer “Three Steps to Guarantee Relatable Characters” articles, and more “This is Kind of What I Noticed About the Types of Characters I Write” articles.

6 Ways That Fanfiction Makes Your Writing Stronger by Vivian Shaw: “This is one of the best parts about writing fic and posting it on the internet: instant gratification. There are few writing disciplines in which this reward via reactive commentary is so readily available.”

How to Analyze a Movie: A Step-by-Step Guide by Tyler Schirado: “There’s a lot of advice out there about writing film reviews from a critic’s perspective, each with varying degrees of advice. I’ve been analyzing movies critically for six years, and I’ve personally found that reviews don’t need to be complicated. Rather, they need to be honest and encourage discussion.”

The Paralysis of Perfection by David duChemin: “Our desire for a flawless and unblemished kind of perfection gets in the way of—and so often prevents us from—accomplishing the other kind of perfection: done.”

Your Photographic Legacy: Realizing Your Power as a Photo Maker by Adam Welch

Be mindful that you always remember the impact of the photos you make and how far the manner by which you make those photos truly reaches. Photographs carry a unique duality which occupies a cloudy space among other art forms.

Our cameras have the power to make, record and even change history, but without you, a camera is just a camera.

A helpful chart to explain the difference between support and ‘toxic positivity.’ by Sarah Schuster

You can’t make someone be positive. You can’t sprinkle positivity dust on them and make their problems go away. And honestly, when people are seeking help and support, they’re usually not looking for straight-up, inspirational poster positivity. More often, they’re looking for validation that their negative feelings are OK.

When Lips Speak for Themselves: A Reading List on Red Lipstick compiled by Alison Fishburn: “Starting with an overview of its history, the following longreads explore the past and present of red lipstick, the personal and social implications of wearing it, and how it functions as a source of power for its wearer.”

What is Glitter? by Caity Weaver: “The primary functions of glitter are, of course, aesthetic; glitter exists so that glitter can be put on things that do not have glitter on them: Popsicle sticks, stuffed animals’ irises; Newt Gingrich.”

Inside The World Of Stay-At-Home Moms Who Blog For Profit by Kathryn Jezer-Morton

Suddenly the oddly haphazard nature of the posts I was seeing made sense. These aren’t blogs primarily meant for telling a story, or establishing someone’s digital personality — they’re blogs for earning money. And among the most popular items for sale, it would seem, are guides for how to make money through blogging. They are blogs about blogging.

‘It’s not play if you’re making money’: how Instagram and YouTube disrupted child labor laws by Julia Carrie Wong: “But while today’s child stars can achieve incredible fame and fortune without ever setting foot in a Hollywood studio, they may be missing out on one of the less glitzy features of working in the southern California-based entertainment industry: the strongest child labor laws for performers in the country.”

ethical.net: “a not-for-profit project building a free and open platform for discovering ethical alternatives to stuff — whether that means buying from a social enterprise, charity shopping, or learning how to fix your old phone instead of buying a new one.” (via)

What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?