The Thing I would Like to End


Good morning, John. Beginnings and endings… I like it. I like this frame. I love beginnings. I’ve got several beginnings
that I’m interested in. Soda syrups. Sock – anything to do with socks
I’m really into right now. I’ve got a couple things I’d like to end on
a sort of a national level. But in terms of me, things that I can definitely
do and control, I don’t know what I want to end. We interview people for jobs sometimes, sometimes
for fairly high-level jobs. I once had somebody come into a job interview
and be like, “I could get you to acquisition
in just a couple of years,” and I was like, “To ac – to what?” Like, building Complexly up to sell it, and
I was just like, “Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, I wanna be running this company when I die!” I was really sounding like a moped there
for a second. Here’s a thing that I would like to end.
I would like to end my line edits for my book. What are line edits, Hank? Okay, here’s what book writing
looks like, if you’re in the traditional publishing industry. First, you write a book.
I don’t know how this works. I don’t know. So you’ve got a manuscript, and you’ve got
an editor. However that happened… is a mystery. But you got it, and you give it to the editor.
And then either they tell you, “This is trash,” or they write you a letter. And that’s called
the editorial letter, and it says, “This book is not trash,” followed by a 22 page list of all the ways in which
the book is trash. This is the success condition. So then, you finished your big revision.
You’ve basically rewritten the book. There’s 50,000 words that aren’t in there
anymore and 40,000 new ones. Then you get your line edits. And your line edits are like,
line by line, your editor goes, “Why did you do this?” Usually it’s fairly simple things like it’s,
you need a different word here because you used this word earlier in the
sentence beforehand. And then occasionally you get a line edit
that basically says, “Rewrite this chapter,” and you’re like, “This isn’t a line edit!” And during the line edit is for me
when I read the entire book out loud. I’m a slow reader regardless, but reading
out loud is particularly slow. Now of course, after your line edit, you get your copy
edit, and that’s when somebody, in my case last time, the valedictorian of my high school graduating
class for some reason, Mary Beth Constant, just reads your entire manuscript and tells
you all of the little things you got wrong and that’s usually much less troublesome.
You’re just being like, “Yes, I agree that there should be a comma there.
You’re right, I did use the wrong word, Mary Beth. Yes, you are still smarter than me
all of these years later.” This is maybe the weirdest coincidence of
my entire life. I hope I get Mary Beth again. There was literally a single typo in the whole
book when it came out, which is amazing. So at this point, you’ve been changing this
book like every day for six, eight months? You’ve been looking at it and changing things,
and then they say, “Don’t change anything else!” And your entire mind is built to change the
book, and then you have to say, “No!” This is the final! You decide now that all of
the words that are in here deserve to be in here, and none of the words that aren’t in there
should be, and… Gaaaaah! I’m not a high stress person, I’m really not.
I’m laid back, but that is too much. That is the biggest ending I’m working toward
in 2020, and I’m kind of terrified of it! I like this book a lot. It’s… it’s much more ambitious
than my first book, and I think that it says a lot of interesting and important things
that we need to be saying and thinking about right now. But this is one of the great things about
creative work, that you are forced to an end. So I guess I’m lucky to have a job where I
get lots of little “I did it” moments, whether it’s finishing a book or
whether it’s finishing this video. John, I’ll see you… right now, because we’re on tour together. [JOHN:] Hank, you just made
a whole video about your book in which you didn’t say the name of the book,
which is A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor. Nor did you say when it comes out,
which is July 7th. And nor did you say that it’s available
for pre-order now, which it is.

100 Replies to “The Thing I would Like to End

  1. I thought John was saying that not saying the name of his book was a beautifully foolish endeavour. I was like, so what is the name of the book?

  2. This might be favorite ending to a vlogbrothers video ever. As if John was just so done with Hank failing at basic self-promotion that he had to literally fly across the country just to take him to school.

  3. It's almost as if Hank doesn't want people to buy his book. Luckily for Hank, John wants people to buy Hank's book.

  4. After you described the editorial letter I laughed so hard that I had to pause the video and walk around for a bit 😀 😀 😀
    You hit my humour nerve very hard there 😛

  5. Interesting to hear the process. Damn, I wish 12-year-old me was still here to write the damn book, got so waylaid by work stress for years, I’m way out of practise. Maybe a plan for a new hobby to start on the day you’ve gotta stop editing would give you something else to focus on? Idk, it sounds intense.

  6. The more I hear about the publishing industry, the more I wonder how an average person who has written a book manages to navigate the entire arcane process and eventually get published in the first place, because honestly *to me*, it seems like Getting a Book Published is 90% luck(you did all the things correctly along your journey!) and 10% skill(your book is actually readable!). Anyways. I look forward to the sequel!

  7. What I would like to see end in 2020: the current bushfires that are ravaging Australia (since September 2019) causing habitat devastation, homelessness and species endangerment.

    What I would like to see begin in 2020: a proactive and compassionate government that cares more about its people, than preserving measures to keep billionaire donors and companies stripping resources out of Australia that are contributing to the current environmental, social and political climate we are currently facing.

  8. Since John is obviously hyping Hank's books for him, is he also editing his videos while on tour so he can add that 'post-credits scene'?

  9. Hank Hank Hank what on Earth is happening with the soda syrups, I'm concerned and excited, I just spent ten minutes in the supermarket trying to decide whether to buy grenadine

  10. I like how Hank is a nerdy guy that's also a slow reader. I'm not or rather not anymore (ironically my reading rate shot way up after dropping out of college, but prior I was so slow I was considered learning disabled… I guess that's because of of the foreign movies and shows I watch and needing the substitutes…

  11. I love the continuence (is that even the right word) of your older brother, a person who’s works have been published more times, having to inform you that you didn’t promote your book while talking about it. ❤️

  12. I love the running joke that Hank is just terrible at self promotion. I thought it might have just been a bit for the podcast.

  13. Good gravy, just hearing John’s voice and cadence and just LITERALLY PERFECT SOUNDS made me miss him on Mental Floss SO DANG MUCH. I’ve rewatched all MF episodes so many times I can even identify the video title from the intro.

    WE MISS YOU JOHN MENTAL FLOSS JUST ISNT THE SAME PLEASE COME BACK

  14. Awesome!
    Lol. Hank..
    Too shy to promote something that you love?
    I'm glad you've got a friend willing to do it for you.

  15. Here's something to do with socks:
    Fold or bunch up a pair (to your taste) and put it under the elbow you always lean on your desk or chair arm with. You can really hurt a nerve that goes all the way from shoulder to fingertip by grinding that elbow into that hard surface all day. (Not you personally Hank, I dunno how you sit)

  16. John jokingly yet seriously calling Hank out for not telling people to pre-order his book is the type of content I'm here for.

  17. I'm glad that John came in at the end with that promo info because I actually forgot the name of the book and when I can read it

  18. TFW you make a whole thing about ending line-edits and then your bro performs line-edits to your video LIVE ON CAMERA.

  19. "This is the final. You decide now that all the words that are in here deserve to be in here, and none of the words that aren't in there should be." – the lesson Rowling missed in the Great School of Authorship and Writing.

  20. John doing all the heavy lifting of a Beautiful Folish Endeavor release I see. Lol. Also Hank I get that I'm on Line edits right now to and ahhhh!!! also one last thing probably the most importent thing Hank, are An Absolutely Remarkable thing, and A Beautiful Folish Endeavor classified as science fiction?

  21. Full belly laughs at the ending. Hank may be excellent at business, but John is the expert at marketing books 😂

  22. Enjoying your nuclear enthusiasm :3 Bizarre that you seem to think your fictional characters are real and used vetting by some kind of committee? Each author is different. Hope your book does well and you enjoy the birth. You are glowing!!! Plus a good editor is worth their weight in goldpressed latinum. Oh and welcome to the professional liar club; what all authors do.

  23. Hi fellow nerdfighters! I'd like to donate money to aid in the australian bushfires but I'm not sure which organization I should support, do you guys know any good ones?

  24. Hank doesn't want to build up a company just to sell off for profit, and he doesn't want to build up a book just to sell it for profit either! He cares about bigger things!

  25. I thought he was saying that the fact he made an entire video without saying the name of his book was a beautifully foolish endeavour.

  26. I love the "hank, you forgot to plug" from John, but moreso love THAT Hank truly just forgot to plug coz he was on one.

  27. i refuse to believe hank did anything other than walk (WALK) to his local bookstore & buy a signed copy of his own novel.

  28. even tho this video is about the literary world, EVERY single thing hank says also applies to journalism and academic research (journalist and historian here!). especially the "22 pages list of all the ways this is trash" and "line by line your editor goes: whYY did you do this???'". SO RELATABLEEEE!

    thank you, hank, for making such a relatable video for me. laughed the entire time, because saaaaame.

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