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Person 1: “Are you playing computer solitaire? I thought you had a big writing deadline.” 2: “I do. This is part of my process.” 2 suddenly screams: “I’ll never finish on time and I’ll die alone and unloved!!” 1: “Also part of your process?” 2: “Also part of my process.”

Deadline crunch

Deadline crunch published on

A support group for professional writers:


Okay, everyone — thanks for those introductions. I want you to know this is a sharing space, one where you can talk about anything at all.

Before we get underway, let’s just get a sense of the issues we’re dealing with. Could I have a show of hands for everyone coping with occasional anxiety? …So, everyone. Constant anxiety? …Everyone. Check.

Okay, how about imposter syndrome? …Everyone again, huh?

Deep-seated fear that everyone else is succeeding while you’re falling beh—… okay. Maybe it’s easier if I just ask you to put up your hands if you aren’t dealing with this. Anybody who doesn’t have a constant need to reassure yourself while you’re working that what you’re writing isn’t crap? Anyone? Procrastination? No? Weird physical symptoms that appear when a deadline’s coming up?

Is there a support group for defeated support group facilitators?

Woman writing on a sheet of glass, Help! I'm trapped in an unoriginal stock photo!

Pictures of pretty people in office settings they actually wouldn’t be caught dead in (AKA “stock photography”)

Pictures of pretty people in office settings they actually wouldn’t be caught dead in (AKA “stock photography”) published on No Comments on Pictures of pretty people in office settings they actually wouldn’t be caught dead in (AKA “stock photography”)Purchase print

A disclaimer: there’s some good stock imagery out there. Some really lovely stuff.

But there’s just so much derivative crap: flat, uninspired knockoffs of other flat uninspired knockoffs. Oh, look! It’s a smiling person with a phone headset! It’s three people gathered around a laptop, one pointing, the others listening attentively, and all of them smiling! It’s a meeting of half a dozen ethnically diverse people, smiling! (Don’t want smiles? There’s a dramatic variation where they look determined! Although they could break out in smiles at any moment.)

I wish iStockphoto would label all of that stuff so people who want the old standbys could find them quickly and easily, and people who want anything but that style could filter it out of their search results.

Meanwhile, an offhand tweet of mine last week griping about all of this got a response from David Sherry:

And so he and collaborator Allie Lehman are. Death to the Stock Photo is a project that drops a tidy pile of lovely photos in your inbox every month for your enjoyment and use, at no charge.

Free high-res lifestyle photography sent to you monthly, to do whatever you please. For your website, social channels, mockups or even to hang on your wall if you’re so inclined.

No catch. Join us to rid the world of bad stock photography.

Check ’em out.

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