When The Spec Script Was King by Margaret Heidenry is a multi-faceted gem of an article in the March 2013 issue of Vanity Fair. You can almost smell the acrid-smoke wafting from troubled writers’ cigarettes, or hear the manic ferver of a script "hitting the town" inciting a phone-blaring bidding war.
From Preston Sturges to Shane Black, Margaret has thoroughly researched the rise and fall (and rise again!) of the mythical writer-beast in Hollywood. From the days of studio-writers (quite literally) chained to their desks, through the picket-lines of writer strikes, and finally to the new frontier of internet discovery – Tinsel Town remains firmly perched upon the hunched back of writers.
If you're a writer looking to make a dent in Hollywood, this article is a fascinating must-read.
Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon slyly pulls the carpet right out from under convention, letting it fall right smack on its bum. If you're expecting a soup-to-nuts step-by-step guide to making you appear brilliant, look elsewhere. However, if you've always suspected there may actually be something to that kooky old saying "Less Is More" - then my friend, kick your shoes off and set a spell - this book is delightfully subversive (in the kindest way possible).
My favorite chapter is the last one titled "Creativity Is Subtraction". The more art I've personally created over the years, the more I've learned it's not what you show - it's what you don't show that speaks volumes, and this chapter fully backs me up. Austin runs it home with a quote from Jack White, whom I believe said it best:
"Telling yourself you have all the time in the world, all the money in the world, all the colors in the palette, anything you want-that just kills creativity." - Jack White