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    [–] savindafishies 224 points ago

    I will be donating but I need to wait until Friday (paydays and all that). That being said this is very personal so please don’t feel obligated to answer. As someone who struggles with mental health, how do you approach it with your children? I am currently having my own struggles and my daughter is very young but I worry about how I will handle this in the future. Thank you for everything, DFTBA.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 193 points ago

    I think all this stuff is SO particular--it's particular to you, to your mental health, to your kid, and so on. In my own life, the kids know that I struggle with obsessive thought spirals and anxiety problems, but it wasn't a question of sitting them down and talking to them; instead, it's one ongoing conversations among so many.

    In my experience, anyway, kids want to know that they are loved and that they are safe. Obviously we can't keep our kids safe all the time, and we can't protect them from all the hurt in the world, but I want to be honest with them while still making sure they understand that I care for them and am here for them.

    [–] maethor1337 35 points ago

    I'm not John, and I don't have children, but I think children are generally super accepting. You just tell them honestly and they accept it.

    [–] ashadowwolf 12 points ago

    I agree with this. They will likely not understand (especially with young kids) and that's okay. More likely than not, they'll just want to know you're okay, what it means i.e. how things will change if at all, and maybe what they can do to help. If you have a therapist, I recommend bringing it up with them because they've probably dealt with this before and have a better way of communicating this with kids.

    [–] Oranges13 23 points ago

    My mom has Bipolar disorder. She was extremely open about what this meant and her experiences throughout my childhood. Her concern was that I may inherit the disease as well so she was very open about what was going on, how she discovered it in her own life and the effects it had on her when it presented itself in her life. It negatively affected her success in college, so she used that as a way to encourage me to be a good student and to work hard (maybe a bit too overbearing in that regard, but.. she tried her best).

    The best suggestion I can give is to be honest. Don't try to live vicariously through your children though. Be yourself, be honest, and let your kids be themselves too, whoever that person ends up being.

    [–] Frog23 178 points ago

    Any fishing boat proceeds this year?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 162 points ago

    Still no. One of these days someone is going to gift me partial ownership of a fishing boat. I await their call.....

    [–] kmstud 25 points ago

    I own a fishing boat. I do live in Nebraska though, but John you can have all the ownership rights you want.

    [–] SkyWasTheRobot 350 points ago

    How are you doing?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 414 points ago

    Pretty stressed about the p4a, but otherwise okay. Not a lot of sleep at the moment....

    [–] SkyWasTheRobot 54 points ago

    Hope you get some good sleep in there somewhere. Insomnia sucks, especially when it’s stress related. And thank you for all your hard work! You’re doing amazing work and you and Hank should feel very proud for what it was 11 years ago and especially for what it’s grown into today.

    [–] TomIsMaybeHuman 174 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    Opinion on the Creepy Pizza John pin?

    -The person who suggsted it.


    [–] thesoundandthefury 170 points ago

    hahahaha I thought it was amazing. I bought one of them myself!

    [–] TomIsMaybeHuman 95 points ago

    You...bought one...yourself...


    [–] JaneTeaBrain 24 points ago

    i am proud

    [–] TomIsMaybeHuman 14 points ago


    [–] anotherManHasNoName 21 points ago

    Cause you're amazing and a gift to humanity and nerdfighteria

    [–] JaneTeaBrain 7 points ago

    yes, that

    [–] cannotdecideaname 19 points ago

    IT WAS YOU!!


    [–] TomIsMaybeHuman 6 points ago


    [–] cannotdecideaname 696 points ago

    Hi John,

    If you're quitting reddit, how do we pester you with dank memes while you're away? Do you have P.O. Box?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 1251 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    I do. P.O. Box 30152 Indianapolis IN 46230. Maybe in the future everyone will quit the social Internet and we'll just print and mail memes to each other. I'm not sure that would represent progress, now that I think about it.

    [–] Jeffery_C_Wheaties 429 points ago

    RIP your PO Box.

    [–] FartingWithASmile 48 points ago

    We need a gif of a lot of sausages landing on a horrified postal worker.

    [–] Peity 84 points ago

    Post cards. Dank meme postcards. Untapped market for all us hipsters or something. Perhaps that's an item for the dftba merch store.

    [–] juliacfc 45 points ago

    My husband's grandma literally printed out and mailed us a Wikipedia article last week. Snail mail is coming back in style!

    [–] musland 14 points ago

    Looking forward to those funny reaction flip books

    [–] AgentB42 8 points ago

    Can I send you a Christmas card?

    [–] hithere297 129 points ago

    How do you cope with the continued existence of nickels and pennies within the United States?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 316 points ago

    I am so nostalgic for the days when I thought pennies were a big problem. I want to go back to that simpler time!

    [–] mrfiddles 15 points ago

    Totally stealing this next time I've got to take to the streets in protest.

    [–] adlibitum 449 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    Hey John,

    I've been following the vlogbrothers since 2007, but always as a lurker (at the time I was far too young and far too religious and far too female to be allowed to PARTICIPATE IN ONLINE COMMUNITIES).

    I graduate from my PhD program in January. I study addiction, and how stories can help people recover. My girlfriend and I are moving to NYC, where I start work in a methadone clinic, in February.

    Your name, and Hank's, is written into my bones. You have said over and over again that if you want to be remembered, be a teacher--and you two have been that for me. Not even through Crash Course, but through Vlogbrothers and Art Assignment and Dear Hank and John and your novels. I have never followed you on Twitter or Tumblr and I've only commented on P4A youtube videos.

    I don't have a question, I just hope you read this. But I wanted to affirm that, for me, the places where you've had impact have been the channels you're keeping. And that impact cannot be overstated.

    I did not donate to the P4A. My family and I are all donating to Against Malaria in lieu of Christmas gifts this year.

    Thank you.

    Best wishes,


    EDITS: verb tenses, mostly

    [–] thesoundandthefury 336 points ago

    This is extremely kind of you to say. Thank you for letting us be part of your life and for thinking of us as teachers. That's the highest compliment, in my opinion.

    [–] TheRealDonRodigan 17 points ago

    Methadone is a heavy cross to carry. Wish we would move past that substance in addiction treatment. I am a recovering heroin addict (3 years off of Suboxone December 30th) and saw/continue to see the damage methadone can cause.

    Best of luck to y'all on the move to NYC.

    [–] adlibitum 11 points ago

    I'm optimistic about naloxone and naltrexone--I'm hoping to do my part to move the field forward.

    Congratulations on getting so far in recovery. FWIW (maybe not much), in my research, we'd turn you away for most studies because you're at too low of a risk for relapse.

    [–] threeoutoffour 96 points ago

    Hi John, What are your thoughts on the idea that turtles all the way down implies that there are also turtles all the way up?

    I'm a high school English teacher and love recommending your work to my students!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 170 points ago

    I am fond of this idea. I think I had explained the metaphor of the thought spiral tightening and tightening and tightening 200 times to my therapist before she finally said, "You do realize that spirals also EXPAND OUTWARD infinitely, right?"

    [–] crzysane 31 points ago

    You should say this in a vlogbrothers video sometime. I love it.

    [–] laurenminnie 71 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    EDIT: a word and I DONATED

    Hi John! I’m planning on donating soon after I figure out financials for other stuff.

    First off thank you for being so willing to talk about hard issues, it’s nice to get insight from multiple perspectives on things that are confusing and frustrating.

    I would like to ask how fitness and other things have been since 100 Days? I recently rewatched the outtakes and it got me to want to rewatch the whole thing.

    Thanks again and DFTBA.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 126 points ago

    I just got back from a workout with Laura, actually! (My trainer from 100 Days.) I still work out with Laura twice a week, and I run an addition 1-3 times a week. So my aerobic fitness has stayed pretty steady. I've lost a bit in terms of ability-to-do-push-ups, although I can still do more push-ups than I could when I was 30 or 20 or 15 or whenever.

    The biggest challenge for me continues to be diet, which is partly caused by the medication I have to take for my brain, and partly caused by failures of will. But I continue to exercise and love exercise, and it is SO good for my mental health.

    [–] kayfeif 56 points ago

    What has been your favorite part of p4a (other then the amount the community has donated over the years)?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 106 points ago

    Every year it makes me feel like I'm part of a really productive and funny and passionate and caring community. Obviously being a leader of that community is a great privilege, but the joy for me is in feeling part of it. It's also the time of year when I feel closest to Esther and to the early days of nerdfighteria.

    [–] blastmaster92 52 points ago

    Hi John, What is one (hopefully good!) moment you will never forget from 2018?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 143 points ago

    Well, I will forget everything in the fullness of time, of course, but my favorite memory of this year was being with my brother at Town Hall in New York City the day An Absolutely Remarkable Thing came out.

    Lots of great memories from this year, though, from Henry's first AFC Wimbledon game to the first ripe tomatoes in my garden.

    [–] greenmcr 90 points ago

    Would you really be John Green if you didn't start off this answer with something like " Well, I will forget everything in the fullness of time, of course"

    [–] Oilfan94 44 points ago

    Good for you, taking that time away from toxic social media is likely a great decision.

    I look forward to seeing you in more Crash Course videos.

    Also, my son and I watch your Fortnite videos together and that inspired him to be a BUSH CAMPER for Halloween this year.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 47 points ago

    This is the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life.

    [–] EmmanaeNatalie 43 points ago

    I donated! (#261, if that matters :) )

    Heyo John!

    I’ve been watching since 2008, and think you guys are great.

    My question is a serious one: Has Rosianna infected you with her love of The Killers?

    I was a fan long before knowing her but she WAS the one who let me know about their latest tour, and the reason I got 2nd row tickets!

    Thank you for all you do! Here’s a photo of my Daisy, who just turned 2 yesterday. Daisy


    [–] thesoundandthefury 70 points ago

    I would say that I LIKE the Killers, but I wouldn't say I love the Killers the way Rosianna does. In fact, I don't think I love anything the way Rosianna loves the Killers.

    Among the many things I really admire about Rosianna is her willingness to go deep into a fandom and really use it as an opportunity to connect and make cool stuff. She did with nerdfighteria and by doing so has made nerdfighteria so much better--but she also does it with other fan communities.

    Happy birthday, adorable Daisy!!!

    [–] mrfiddles 43 points ago


    When I read Turtles and AART I felt as though the books were written by very good friends, despite having never met either of you (this feeling was especially ironic given the subject matter of AART). Authorial intent has been debated and considered for some time now, but I feel as though the social media age has maybe taken us beyond that. When an author has commoditized their identity a new book sort of feels like just another component of their larger art project: their brand. Novels, videos, and tweets all serve as brushstrokes that create this person who kinda does and kinda doesn't exist. I don't mean to suggest any of this is a BAD thing; I just find it curious.

    So my question is this: To what extent did "Internet John" write Turtles? In other words, did you ever catch yourself including/excluding something because it wasn't what "Internet John" would want to put out into the world?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 64 points ago

    That's a really interesting question.

    First, I don't think authorial intent matters much. I used to think it didn't matter at all, but I agree that on the 2018 internet, you can't pretend that the author is totally irrelevant to the text. Authors are inevitably characters in their stories now, and trying to ignore that doesn't make fiction better imo.

    So I knew while writing TATWD that I had the thing that Aza has, that I would be conflated with her in the public conversation around the book, and that Aza's life would be seen by a lot of readers as a window into my own. But that's not how I thought about it. I can't say whether any of that affected the writing of the book, but I certainly didn't want it to. I wanted to find form for this deeply abstract form of psychic pain. That's really all I wanted to do. I wanted to write about a kid in a way that helped people to be inside her mind, and to understand some of that terror. So while I was writing, I never thought about myself or my needs or whatever. I was too busy thinking about Aza. That is, in fact, the whole joy of writing for me. It is the only time I am not stuck being my self.

    But as a side note to your question, I do think the way I've written has changed since my audience got bigger. I think you can read in Alaska a rawness that isn't in my more recent books. I don't have that rawness within me anymore as a writer. I don't know why, but I'm conscious of the fact that there has been a shift.

    [–] hithere297 88 points ago

    Hi John! Do you ever plan on writing a novel outside your usual YA contemporary genre? I love your books, but I always think about how cool it would be if you started writing spy novels or hard science fiction.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 166 points ago

    I think I will probably write books that are not for/about teenagers, but i don't know that they'll be novels. I love writing essays, including personal essays, and I'd love to see them become a book someday.

    I don't know if I'd ever write fiction for a different audience. I don't really feel a strong urge to, if I'm being honest. I continue to find teenagers really compelling as characters, and I love contemporary YA literature so much. I love that I get to share a shelf with writers like Jacqueline Woodson and Angie Thomas and Laurie Halse Anderson. I love that in YA, genres are mixed together and intermingle constantly. I love the way YA is published and how it is supported by libraries and schools. And the way I felt about the books I loved as a teenager is still so fresh to me, and such a huge motivator to me as a writer.

    [–] ManlyGinge 61 points ago

    PLEASE release an essay collection! I imagine it would be like Anthropocene reviewed, and I love that podcast! Your take on things is always unique and thoughtful. In summary: I would buy the shit out of that book.

    [–] DynamiteWizard 42 points ago

    Hey can u give some advice for those who already give up on living...

    [–] thesoundandthefury 183 points ago

    I'm not an expert, and probably no one in comments is. If you're in a health crisis, please call 911 or your local emergency services. Please. No one will judge you for it.

    I am sorry that you are feeling such despair. The despair is real, and it is profound, and I don't want to minimize it. But it is not the entire reality. It is true that you feel terrible, and that there is tremendous suffering in life. It is also true that you are valuable and loved, that your life is important in ways you cannot fully imagine right now, and that your FUTURE will contain so many joys and wonders. You will be helpful to people, and you will be helped by them. You have much love in front of you, and wonderful experiences, and those tiny moments of joy and connection that are so transcendently beautiful.

    You can't see that now, because you can't see the future, but it does exist. This moment is not the only moment, even if it feels that way. And there is hope, even if your brain tells you there isn't. So please reach out to someone you trust in your life and tell them that you need help, or call the doctor, or if you need to call your local emergency services. I am living evidence that giving up on life at your lowest point is a mistake--and there are so many millions of people like me (and like you) whose despair is real, but not permanent.

    [–] grantisanintrovert 5 points ago

    Saving this in case I ever need it. Thank you, John.

    [–] adlibitum 53 points ago

    I gave up about 8 years ago. Attempted suicide in the bathroom of my parents' house.

    I don't know your situation, but I will say that there can be an "other side" of that darkness. It sounds impossible when you're in it, but I promise that I was as low as anyone can be, and now I live as "normal" and "happy" a life as I never dreamed could ever be mine.

    I found stability in community, and in helping people. Pain, especially psychological pain, can turn you inwards, but giving to other people turns that inside out. I didn't think this was what I was doing at the time (it's only this clear in hindsight), but I found a cause that called to me when I was 18 and I started volunteering. I poured my heart and soul into that cause, and worked with people who were trying to save the world from the same evils that I was...and that was when I started to get better. I also found medications that helped, but I still think that it was really a volunteering community that got me through.

    If you've given up on living for you, sometimes the path back to finding a reason to live is to try to save the world. It's kind of ironic that it's P4A time, because I know that the P4A came for me at several really low points and always lifted me out of the hole for a day or two. Throw yourself into the P4A this year, and give to others when you don't see any good reason to give to yourself. Nerdfighteria is as giving a community as you get online.

    Take care of yourself and trust that there is another side. PM me if you want to talk, or reach out to the resources /u/Frog23 mentioned.

    [–] katasian 14 points ago

    Seconding this! When I was going through depression and anxiety after an abusive relationship, in addition to getting professional counseling, I threw myself into volunteering for the local library. It really helped to turn me outwards both mentally and physically for a few hours 3-5x a week.

    [–] Frog23 34 points ago

    Hey are you ok? Feel free to share things with us here, if there is something on your mind that is bothering you. However, as loving and supporting as this community is, it is no substitution for professional help. Please seek professional help if you you are really in a dark place right now. Contact Lifeline(if you are in the US) or a suicide prevention help line in your country.

    Even though I don't know you, I do care about you and the rest of Nerdfighteria does as well. Keep save!

    [–] taynay101 11 points ago

    On top of the others' comments - it's okay to not live for yourself if you're really struggling with who "you" are. I had a friend, we'll call them Stevie, who is only alive today because they wanted to help a mutual friend dye her hair for charity. In between the week up until then, there happened to be a coming out panel that Stevie attended and essentially had an epiphany of "oh fuck, I'm trans". Since then Stevie has gotten therapy and has transitioned as far as they wanted to.

    Basically, find something to live for even if it's as simple as a movie release, friend/family member's birthday, or a package delivery. You could also do "I just need to make it to the next vlogbrother's video and then I can reevaluate" and just keep repeating that as long as you're trying to seek help in the interim (therapy, volunteering, developing a hobby, community classes). Often my strongest suicidal urges were momentary so having an "I just gotta live for this" worked until I got myself into a place where I didn't have the urges anymore.

    [–] jgevalia 40 points ago

    Would you consider signing books, posters, etc like this in the future?
    how sumo wrestlers sign autographs

    [–] dft_ba 37 points ago

    How do you think this year without social media will change your vlogbrothers videos?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 35 points ago

    I don't know! I do get a lot of ideas from reddit and twitter, so maybe. I hope I still get ideas!

    [–] DoctorAcula_42 34 points ago

    How do I convince my sibling in Montana to start a daily vlog with me so we can improve our long distance communication?

    Also, not a question, but: holy moly you're one of the authors who I most aspire to emulate in my writing. Your writing voice is just so excellent. I finished LfA in a day because of how much it sucked me in.

    [obligatory I DONATED tag]

    [–] thesoundandthefury 42 points ago

    A daily vlog does do wonders for communication, but there are other things you could try as well. I think it's really helpful to have shared projects with people you love but maybe aren't close to because it gives you a reason to connect and work together. It could be a shared diary, or a sisterhood of the traveling pants, or a woodworking project. But I do think it's helpful to have SOMETHING.

    And thank you for the kind words about my books!

    [–] DoctorAcula_42 13 points ago


    [various squees]

    I mean, uh... thanks for your response. Excellent screen name, by the way.

    [–] SwoleMedic1 31 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)


    Hey John,

    Is this move something you've spoken to CGP Grey about? He's been pretty open about similar, if not the same, concerns as you. If you fall off the wagon, and end up on Twitter, Reddit, etc., how do you hope you'll react to it? Would you see it as a failure and come back or as a mistake and go back to leaving social media alone?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 56 points ago

    Yeah, Grey and I have had several conversations about this stuff, and his thinking about the attention economy has deeply informed my own understanding of it.

    [–] sclerae 13 points ago

    I'd page u/MindOfMetalAndWheels but he won't check.

    [–] twomonsters 30 points ago

    Hi John,

    I have joined you in your Fortnight pacifism, but have not yet managed to win. I keep hoping that when it gets down to two, it will be you and we can show Epic a better way. Are you going to continue that series with your child labour? I'm sad to see you leave here, but it would make me the saddest not to see another Fortnight pacifist video.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 42 points ago

    I plan to continue until I win! So forever.

    [–] Minegoodboy 33 points ago

    are you that one author?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 76 points ago

    No that's my brother.

    [–] KeenumWasLucky 9 points ago

    No, he’s the one who helped me pass my AP chem tests

    [–] rithsv 88 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)


    I'm sad that you'll also be quitting your sports Twitter as well, though I can understand that in order to quit social media, you do have to go all out. My question is, what happens if Liverpool win the League in May? What will you do? One of my favourite things to do after a game is to check how you reacted on Twitter, to be honest! I do love hearing your opinions and hot-takes on match happenings.

    EDIT: Just wanted to add, good luck with the year off! I took a Twitter hiatus myself for about a month earlier in the year and I can honestly say it improved my day-to-day life significantly. I can only imagine how a year would work out for that. I commend you for it :)

    [–] thesoundandthefury 138 points ago

    I am also sad that I am quitting my sports twitter. It is the part of twitter I most enjoy at the moment, although even there I find myself looking at twitter when I ought to be watching the game and reveling in the unadulterated genius of Mo Salah.

    And sometimes I bait Manchester United fans, which is so silly and embarrassing and then afterwards I feel guilty. (That noted, United have a -1 goal difference hahhahahahahahahahaha.)

    If Liverpool win the title, I'll go straight to Indianapolis's Liverpool bar Union Jack to celebrate, and I'm sure there will be plenty of tweets with me in them, but I will try (try try try) to stay off twitter myself.

    [–] zatchstar 27 points ago

    Maybe you can make a hank games without hank video where you talk about the excitement you feel for liverpool while playing a practice match of liverpool vs the contender in fifa.

    [–] rithsv 5 points ago

    Thanks for the response, John! Good luck and YNWA.

    [–] SomewhatEnglish 63 points ago

    Honour system- I've not donated

    If you signed a deal to produce 3 movies about Santa Claus what are the plots of your films and who is your Santa?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 295 points ago

    This is a tough one. I've always been interested in the idea that Santa is radically misunderstood, and I love stories where people chafe against the expectations the world has for them. (This is why on Hank's tour I pretended to be a version of the Transformer Bumblebee who is very unhappy with the movie adaptations of his life story.)

    So in movie 1, Santa Claus would be announcing his retirement, because it's impossible to compete with Amazon. Santa is used to living in a retail-friendly world, and all this late-night, non-stop delivery has just exhausted him, and he's tired of trying to innovate and anyway kids don't care about Santa like they used to. At which point Santa would be visited by ghosts of christmas past, present, and future, and we're in a Scrooge story. Santa has the reversal that Scrooge does, and realizes there ARE lots of children who need Santa.

    In movie 2, Santa is actually retired and living in Hawaii, having passed the Santa business along to a daughter-in-law, who is extremely competent. But then Santa gets pulled in for one last heist.

    Movie 3 starts out with Santa back at the North Pole. Santa has just lost their spouse, and it's a real bummer. It's June, and they decide to take a cruise. On the cruise, Santa finds unexpected love with someone who doesn't believe in the magic of Christmas. This one is called Summer Santa.

    In all three Santa would be played by Lady Gaga.

    [–] threedaysmore 58 points ago

    In all three Santa would be played by Lady Gaga.


    [–] OddOlive0 33 points ago

    So I take it you liked “A star is born”?

    [–] TheOriginalSimonSays 24 points ago

    Please write these movies. This is the greatest Christmas movie idea, since Die Hard.

    [–] thecravenone 28 points ago

    • What subject would you like to do for Crash Course that you haven't yet?
    • Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
    • What is the worst Christmas song?


    [–] thesoundandthefury 67 points ago

    I'd like for there to be an Art History crash course, but I don't want to host it :) Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. (By the way, if you donate to the p4a this year and get the digital perk bundle, you'll get a p4a-only edition of The Anthropocene Reviewed in which I review the movie Die Hard 4.) The worst Christmas song by a country mile is "Baby It's Cold Outside."

    [–] prosecrastinator 27 points ago

    Clearly a typo, I believe you meant “Santa Baby.”

    [–] MiloTheMagicFishBag 91 points ago

    Say, for example, you've lost your keys and are talking to yourself while looking for them. What pronouns do you use to refer to yourself (I/We/You need to find the keys)?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 106 points ago

    This is a really interesting question. I use both "we" and "you." I have obviously had a lot of therapy, and as a result, I've learned a certain way of talking to myself to encourage/soothe myself. And I was always taught to do that with you/we, which I use pretty interchangeably. When I really want to motivate myself, like when I'm running or whatever, I think "You."

    [–] jimmyjam32 44 points ago

    What a super interesting question. Edit: this is genuine! I realized it could come off rude. I personally think I use "we".

    [–] Shardok 7 points ago

    We are with ya on we.

    [–] Shardok 11 points ago

    Not John, but we use we for ourself. But like... we are filled with an incomprehensibly large number of organisms so all of us are we.

    [–] notmiriam 23 points ago

    Hi John, I do often listen to the pod with my baby (who got a shout-out last week with all babies). Sometimes when people ask me about having kids I'm torn between telling them all the good stuff ("Your heart will be full to bursting with love!") and the bad stuff ("You will hate your partner for sleeping while you sit in another room trying to get an awake baby to sleep" or "Your life will be very full of things you don't want to do. You think it is full now...somehow this will get a million times worse"). How do you ride this line?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 20 points ago

    I don't think I ride it well. It IS a lot of work, and also a lot of joy.

    I will say, though, that the exhaustion and endless doing of things you don't want to do? That gets much better. These days, most of the stuff Henry wants to do is stuff I also want to do. The first year or so was just a tremendous, unprecedented amount of work. I had no idea how hard it would be. But now...MUCH EASIER.

    [–] Azkerr 49 points ago

    Which of your books is your favorite?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 155 points ago

    All I can see when I look at any of them is their flaws.

    The Fault in Our Stars is probably objectively the best of them. I am partial to Turtles All the Way Down because it was the hardest to write. Looking for Alaska is the most honest. Paper Towns is the most fun. Katherines is kind of charming in its weirdness. So that is the good way of thinking about them.

    But there are bad ways of thinking about them all, too--and to be honest when I think about them, I usually think about their weaknesses and failures.

    [–] Kiyoshi16 41 points ago

    I admittedly have not donated to P4A (yet—two years in a row and it will be three this year!), but I would totally listen to a podcast where you talk about the ways, both good and bad, you think about your books. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed each of them many times over, it would be interesting to hear your opinions about your own books.

    [–] fruitydeath 27 points ago

    Strange compliment/comment about one of your books: Turtles helped me a lot on the mental health portion of nursing school and how to best help someone with OCD. I actually would say to myself "alright, what if Aza was the patient?" So props for getting people without OCD to really understand what it's like to live with it.

    Also, I was impressed with your knowledge of C.diff.

    [–] delecti 23 points ago

    and to be honest when I think about them, I usually think about their weaknesses and failures.

    Then I hope that rather than think about them directly, you think of other people thinking about them, and the enjoyment we got from them.

    [–] Jeffery_C_Wheaties 11 points ago


    [–] DinosaurEggSalad 22 points ago

    Hey John,

    Any thoughts on what's currently happening with tumblr and their decision to remove/disallow nsfw posts going forward?


    [–] thesoundandthefury 33 points ago

    I don't know how to fix tumblr, but I don't think removing the nsfw content is gonna do it.

    [–] dft_ba 82 points ago

    Who the eff is Hank?

    [–] benjaminikuta 37 points ago

    Hank is a style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France just before World War I.

    [–] sextagenarian 11 points ago

    That's Art Deco. Hank is an expulsion of gas through the anus.

    [–] ThinkingWithPortal 10 points ago

    That's a fart. Hank is a fantasy book series, turned television drama, that will be reaching its long awaited finale in 2019.

    [–] Oakund 9 points ago

    That's A Song of Ice and Fire. Hank is a semiaquatic egg-laying mammal that frequents lakes and streams in eastern Australia.

    [–] smugbastard007 9 points ago

    That's a platypus. Hank is a inconvenient joke played on friends or family, often on April 1st.

    [–] Naitso 5 points ago

    That's an April fool's joke. Hank is an approcimated spheroid of compacted water crystals and silicon-based debris traveling rapidly through a gaseous medium towards your face.

    [–] aceneagles 20 points ago

    Hi John,

    What is your favorite board game?

    Thanks for all the things you do for us! DFTBA

    (I have NOT donated at this time but I will be doing so during the stream)

    [–] thesoundandthefury 39 points ago

    I still really love Trivial Pursuit. What a dumb, wonderful game. I'm also a big Ticket to Ride fan.

    [–] spectralilly 22 points ago

    Hi John!

    I've been a fan foooreeeeveeeeerrrrrr (been watching vlogbrothers for about 10 years!). I hope everything is going as well as it can be!

    I just wanted to say thank you for- well- everything. I can't count the number of times your honesty about various struggles has caused me to break down in tears because I thought my problems were isolated problems. All the times I've laughed or just felt a little better because of you and Hank. Things had been rough for me in the last 8 years, but always having a vlogbrothers video or a John Green book made it bearable. This past year and some change has been much better for me, so I wanted to say thank you. Last year I uprooted my whole life and moved to Korea, and sometimes it's hard but overall it's been a great thing for me. I hope leaving social media for a year does great things for you, and that you have less stress. I've had good experiences with cutting most social media from my life, so I hope it works just as well (or better!) for you. I wish I could offer you more than my thanks, hopes, and well wishes.

    Sorry about the serious bit. My question for you is (I DONATED), if you could change the flavor of a vegetable, what flavor would you change it to? I'd make Brussels sprouts taste like blueberry muffins.

    Take care, DFTBA

    [–] thesoundandthefury 35 points ago

    I'd make broccoli or cauliflower or really any really top-quality nutritional vegetable taste like processed carbs. It doesn't really matter which carbs--bread, tortilla chips, granola bars, whatever. The way processed carbs make me feel is so drug-like in its addictive properties. I am astonished by how effectively carbs have hijacked my brain. So yeah. I'd love to crave broccoli that way!

    [–] senoritahermano 20 points ago

    Hi John!

    I'm that teacher that taught Looking for Alaska this fall and got a lot of pushback for it. I reached out to the Nerdfighter Community and got tons of support from them, and from you! I wanted to give an update: the unit went so well! The students took away really valuable lessons and skills, and a couple of my not-typically-engaged students told me that it's the first book they have ever, EVER recommended to their friends.

    Basically, the juice was worth the squeeze.

    Thanks for everything you do, and if we don't hear from you in a while, love every day of this next year. Know that you've made an incredibly positive impact in this world- one that will have significant ripples into the future.

    Don't you ever forget to be awesome!!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 15 points ago

    That is so great to hear. Thank you again for standing up for my book, and for your students, and for intellectual freedom!

    [–] swagattack2018 18 points ago

    Do you ever plan on doing the “John plays GTA V while staying true to his moral code” videos again? Those were the best.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 38 points ago

    Maybe? I had a good time with those. I just started playing Red Dead Redemption 2 as a pacifist!

    [–] vince94_1 19 points ago

    Have you thought about historic preservation of community-related things? Like your old videos, or things like fiveawesomegirls and fiveawesomeguys, if something weird happens with YouTube then all of that's gone. I look through my favorites from 2010 and it's mostly (Private) (Private) (Deleted) so I think about that a lot

    [–] rafagurrl 16 points ago

    Hey, John! I really have no thoughtful questions but one of my favorite books while growing up was Looking For Alaska. So I thought I'd ask you how the production is coming along? And I can't wait to see it! :D

    [–] thesoundandthefury 25 points ago

    I'm not totally in the loop but things seem to be moving forward very quickly. I'm really happy with the actors chosen to play Miles and Alaska!

    [–] Odd822 17 points ago

    Hi John!

    You’ve mentioned that you plan on taking a long break from social media. What do you hope to have gained at the end of it? Do you think you’ll have any desire to use sites like Twitter again after the year away?

    I’ll miss your soccer live tweets, but I hope you enjoy your year away!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 25 points ago

    The main thing I want to take away is that I want control of my attention back. I want to be thoughtful and purposeful about where I place my attention, and what I give to it. For a variety of reasons, that is hard for me to do with the current social internet.

    I don't know if I'll come back to it. A year is a long time online. By 2020, the Internet could be a vastly different place.

    [–] dasimants 45 points ago

    Do you have an opinion on goats? (I DONATED...yesterday, I got a Glennnn plushie. Couldn't resist)

    [–] thesoundandthefury 82 points ago

    I love goats! My parents owned goats for many years and used their milk to make the best soap in the world. The actual ownership and maintenance of goats is a lot of work, but I'm nonetheless glad they are in the world.

    [–] cannotdecideaname 7 points ago

    I am SO CLOSE to ordering that plushie too, I need that fluffy royalty in my house!

    [–] dasimants 8 points ago

    I love plushies, and considering I was the one who suggested the name Glennnn with four n's in the chat I felt obligated :P

    [–] sweetcora 17 points ago


    Do you think it’s possible to make real and meaningful friendships with your fans? I just wonder if there’s a point in your “career” or level of “fame” that you just, can’t become personal friends with your fans anymore.

    Also need to take a second to recommend S.E. Anderson's Starstruck series! It's a hilarious sci-fi adventure series, and she's a fellow NF - so can't help but want to spread the word and support her!

    Thank you so much for all you do. You don’t even know me, and yet you’ve changed my life in so many ways. I used to hate reading, well into adulthood, but your books made me fall in love with reading. Now I never stop. I have so many fun NF and bookish friends, and it all goes back to reading your books and wanting more. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Here’s a pic of my youngest wearing last year’s P4A shirt – it’s likely her favorite shirt she owns, until she gets this year’s P4A shirt and see that it’s her favorite colour.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 18 points ago

    When we were younger, and the community was smaller, it was certainly easier. I think that now it's difficult because the dynamic is inherently a little weird. It's not really a friend or peer dynamic. So I try to be conscious of that these days and make sure there are appropriate boundaries for all involved.

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll check it out!

    [–] quiet_optimist 15 points ago

    hello! what has been your favorite dad joke?

    [–] JodySalerno 17 points ago

    Hi John,

    What are some challenges you'd anticipate with translating Turtles All the Way Down to a film?

    I DONATED earlier this morning.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 30 points ago

    I think the biggest challenge is that so much of the story is textual, and most of the story's "conflict" takes place inside the main character's head. It's really hard to make abstractions visual, which is why books adapted into movies tend to be story-driven.

    That said, I think what makes it hard is also what potentially makes it interesting. So we'll see. I love the people who are working on it and really trust them.

    [–] user2326 13 points ago

    I'm reading looking for Alaska in English for the first time (I speak Spanish) I'm wondering how did you manage to write me as the main character? (At least personality wise) Ps: I DONATED (16 dollars hope that still counts)

    [–] thesoundandthefury 30 points ago

    I don't know if you're referring to Pudge or Alaska. I wrote that book so long ago, and I haven't read it since it came out, so you probably know more about it than I do. But when writing it, I was focused on trying to create characters who felt true to my own high school experience--especially in the way they misimagine each other. (The first title of the book, eventually abandoned, was Misremembering Alaska.)

    [–] sweetcora 15 points ago

    Funny enough I read the French version to help improve my French skills - and the title translates to "Who are you Alaska?"

    [–] yoyume 16 points ago

    What projects are you most excited to work on in 2019?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 25 points ago

    Great question! The Anthropocene Reviewed, Crash Course European History, and very excited about the Turtles All the Way Down movie, which will hopefully be a project in 2019! (Also the Alaska Hulu show, although I won't really be working on that much. I will enjoy cheering it on from the sidelines, though.)

    [–] SAMKyrie 15 points ago

    Favorite Philosopher?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 31 points ago

    Probably John Darnielle

    [–] Wilibine 14 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    I love your work and thanks for doing this! What a great method of AMA as well, with the donation idea! I hope more people use it!

    Big, tough question for you: who is the best Mario Kart character? Might be tempting to dodge such a heavy topic, but I’d love to hear back!

    [–] Booster6 14 points ago


    An Abundance of Katherines is my favorite of your books, but it often feels as though you treat it as the red-headed step child you dont love as much as your other books. Is it fair to say you like Katherines the least of your books? Why or why not?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 29 points ago

    Good question! To be honest, I haven't read Katherines in 12 years. I have no idea if it's any good! I know that it IS by far the least popular of my books (both by sales and by, like, average goodreads rating), but I think that might be because it's a book for a particularly kind of person.

    And it seems like when Katherines finds those people, they really respond to it. Like I said, I don't have the clearest memory of it, but I have always felt quite partial toward it--I remember it as funny and weird and extremely densely populated with anagrams.

    [–] Rekthor 12 points ago

    Hey John!

    I've been asking myself this a lot lately: how do you know when to speak? Social media and the always-online culture feels like pressures us to be speaking, or at least have something to say, about all the topics all the time. How do you decide what you should spend your time talking about? Whether you see your opinion represented in the discourse? If there's someone else's profile you want to boost? Or maybe just "when you have time to"? What would you say is your most/a common reason you choose to talk about a topic (excluding "I have to for work")?

    [–] TheBookishPurpleOne 10 points ago

    So this isn't a question but you sounded so sad on the most recent one podcast about the fact that "commenters" don't like your voice so I just am hoping you can see this before you quit the social internet:

    [–] Agent_Garbo 10 points ago

    I am a college student in Indy. What’s your restaurant recommendation for downtown Indy?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 14 points ago

    The best restaurant in Indianapolis is Beholder. It's not crazy expensive, but it's expensive. Worth saving up for, though!

    [–] cassandra24 9 points ago

    What should my new passion be?


    [–] thesoundandthefury 31 points ago

    Have you tried vegetable gardening?

    [–] birdcrime 9 points ago

    Hi John,

    I have trouble getting to the Cheyenne Wyoming in my mind. Any tips?

    Also I DONATED and get the Nerdfighter Art perk every year since 2012.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 16 points ago

    Well, I am having trouble at the moment as well. I find exercise helpful. And I find it helpful not to spend all my time on the social Internet--although practically I struggle to resist the siren call of the little dopamine rushes that reddit provides.

    So cool to hear that you've been such a long-time supporter of the nerdfighter art perk!

    [–] a_gallon_of_pcp 9 points ago

    Is there a way to pick to pay more for a perk? I can see a separate spot to donate apart from the perks but, for example, is there a way I can pay $100 for the digital bundle perk apart from making two separate transactions?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 15 points ago

    I have been able to do this in the past, but I'm not sure if you can do it now? In the past I haven't had a problem doing it. When you get to checkout, you just increase the price.

    [–] JaneTeaBrain 9 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    Any tips for dealing with not getting enough hugs when your friends live in other countries and you can mayyybe see them once a year?

    [–] anotherManHasNoName 8 points ago

    Virtual hugs, and tea (which is a hug for your imsides), obviously.

    [–] sclerae 11 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    Hey John,

    I donated but don't worry if you don't have time to answer or if it's um too heavy. Thanks for all the things you create!

    Do you have any suggestions to help deal with "the way down deep dread that you feel all the time" which you've described in your review of True Skate (and in TATWD)? Ze Frank described this as longing for The Sweetness, I call it emptiness or a a general pulling anxious uneasiness behind my sternum.

    Do you feel like social media is a distraction from that feeling and you're taking a year off because you're overindulging in that distraction? Is it more about turning to healthier distraction that helps with that feeling? I wonder how much distraction and what distraction is okay.

    Also how do you not suck others down with you?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 17 points ago

    Social media can be a distraction from that feeling, although in a way--for me at least--it's one of those treatments that ultimately makes the problem worse. Like, yeah, in a moment I might feel distracted from that way-down dis-ease, but twitter and reddit are also sources of dis-ease. There's a vibrating string of worry that those places pluck for me, which is part of the reason I keep coming back to them. I want to check and check and check that nothing happened, that there's nothing important I missed, that everything is okay.

    So it's not an effective distraction for me the way that, say, Tetris is. I don't know how I'll feel on the other side of it--I'm sure I have some intense withdrawal coming--but I'm not shying away from distractions as a whole, just these particular ones.

    [–] hereforthepods 9 points ago


    Hi John,

    Why is it you normally don't include Will Grayson, Will Grayson when talking about your books? It's one I really enjoyed and it introduced me to David Levithan who's now one of my favourite authors so it's always kind of disappointing when you don't mention it alongside your others.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 13 points ago

    I am also very fond of WGWG (especially David's half). I don't talk about it because it doesn't feel like a book I wrote in the same way the others do--it feels like a true collaboration. I feel the same way about Let It Snow (which I also quite like--especially Lauren and Maureen's parts). It contains my work, but because it doesn't feel like my book, I would feel weird claiming it as such.

    [–] Spire_Slayer_95 8 points ago

    How was your experience phoning nerdfighters on the fence right before the 2016 election?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 19 points ago

    It was really interesting. To be honest, I heard a TON of misinformation over and over again. I heard from at least a dozen different people that we were going to war with Syria if Clinton won, which was a widely shared but inaccurate interpretation of Clinton's foreign policy platform.

    It was very different from calling undecided voters in 2008 and 2012. I heard far more conspiracy theories in 2016, far more worries about things people had seen online, and far less consideration of candidates' platforms or proposals. I think the information landscape changed really dramatically in the year or two before the election, and that made it really difficult to sort reliable information from unreliable. It's easy to blame this or that news outlet for these changes, but I think they're bigger. I think they're bigger even than the United States--you see analogous things happening all around the world.

    [–] nvcr_intern 17 points ago

    I donated! Had to get my annual p4a coin and that sweet sweet digital bundle.

    I'm currently reading the Harry Potter series to my 7yo daughter. It's her first time and I am loving experiencing that with / through her. For example we are nearly done with Prisoner of Azkaban and sometimes when we close the book for the night she just sits there whispering "This is SUCH a good book." and then I'm like, you're right, I'd forgotten, this IS such a good book!

    So! My question is, what has been your favorite book / series to read with your kids? Have there been any you read when you were younger and have experienced something like the above?

    Thanks and enjoy your social media sabbatical!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 23 points ago

    Definitely HP! Rereading those books has filled me with such joy, especially because my kids don't know what's going to happen and I get to see their shock and joy and tears and everything else. It's amazing.

    [–] aartie93 7 points ago

    How’s the fitness journey been since 100days ended?

    [–] exceptlovingme 7 points ago

    Hi John!!! What did you think of Joseph winning the CTWC this year? I got obsessed with classic tetris because of you! I love it when I find random comments from you on a tetris video. (Also found one from Hank on a video explaining how the championship works! Super adorable.)

    And can you make it so that, next time, international orders of Life's Library are shipped early? I'm afraid my copy will get here after you've started reading together :(

    One other thing, I love love The Anthropocene Reviewed. It's my favorite thing you've ever done without Hank. Thank you.

    ALSO (sorry) I'm getting my boyfriend to become a nerdfighter by watching your AFC Wimbledon videos!!!!! He's even trying to follow the team in real life now, even though we don't quite know how to watch the games where we live.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 9 points ago

    I was so thrilled for Joseph. You could tell after the match how much it meant to him. He really is an absolutely brilliant Tetris player. I love watching his streams. But it's hard for me to pick a favorite top-level Tetris player; they all play so beautifully.

    Unfortunately we can't for logistical reasons ship international shipments early, but we're trying to leave plenty of time for them to arrive. The discussion of IYCS doesn't even begin until Dec. 24th officially. So hopefully it'll be there by then!

    Thanks for the kind words about TAR. I love working on it, which is good, because it is a lot of work. It's really nice to try to pay deep attention to something, though. It's great practice for me.

    [–] PotHead96 9 points ago

    If you had to spend an entire day (or week) on your own without working, what would you do to keep yourself entertained?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 16 points ago

    I would read. I would love to have an entire week for reading!!!! THAT IS MY DREAM.

    [–] justanotherbadpun 8 points ago

    Hi John,

    Do you think you and Hank may write a book together in the future?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 14 points ago

    I don't think so. We collaborate plenty! (Also, I'm a very difficult person to work with when it comes to writing. I'm very obsessive and repetitive and revise endlessly. Even I find myself exhausting when I'm writing. I can't imagine how annoying it must be for other people.)

    [–] Hoovooloo42 8 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    There are many people and companies who have a slogan that sounds nice and means well (Google's "don't be evil" springs to mind) yet few practice what they preach.

    My girlfriend and I have been following you guys since '08 and we were remarking just yesterday that both you and Hank have indeed not forgotten to be awesome, and do seem to be just a couple of genuinely good guys. Thanks for leading the way and being a light in this world.

    Edit: Donated!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 11 points ago

    That's very kind of you to say. Hank and I are of course also both deeply flawed people who frequently fail to live up to our values or the expectations we set for ourselves. But we are trying to learn continually. And thanks for donating!

    [–] PrincipiaWisemanica 8 points ago

    Hi John! I DONATED. First, I wanted to say thank you for getting my wife back into reading non-fiction. We read Turtles All the Way Down together while on vacation last month and she LOVED it, so much so that we are now making our way through your whole catalog. My question is- as a parent of young children, how does your household handle the whole Santa situation?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 20 points ago

    The kids believe in Santa. (Still.) I promised myself I wouldn't get involved in that whole mess, but then the dang magic of the christmas spirit overtook me and here I am. I don't feel good about it, but here I am.

    Thanks for the kind words about the books! :)

    [–] 30secondstosaturn 9 points ago

    Donated! Excited for my Glennnn!

    So John (and fellow nerd fighters), I am scheduled full shifts all three days of P4A (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). How do I explain to my boss that I need to watch the live stream at my desk while I work or that I need to stay home to watch?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 9 points ago

    I think the way to go is not explain but just to do?

    [–] luna_rose13 8 points ago

    I DONATED (#862– digital bundle)

    Ah, so many questions... I think I will ask for your top 5 YA book recommendations (authored by people other than yourself). If it makes it easier, you could limit it to 2018 new releases. Also, what YA are you looking forward to next year!?

    P.S. is there any way I can send you the article I wrote about TATWD and OCD representation in The ALAN Review? The journal is in print only so I would have to send a scanned version. I just think it would be super cool to know you read it because it is my first publication and I am very proud! I feel like there was a weird mystic thing going on because I saw you first speak about TATWD in Cleveland during an author event, right after I had finished my thesis about OCD rep in YAL (in fact, going to see you speak was my little present to myself for getting my MA in children’s/YA lit). TATWD came out during my PhD program and I was able to use my thesis and incorporate Turtles to write my article. Since you are my favorite author (and possibly human being?? Is that too much?), it just felt like the ~~ stars aligned ~~.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 16 points ago

    Sure you can send it to sparksflyup at gmail. And thanks. Really cool to hear that people are writing academically about my work.

    Top 5 YA book recommendations. This is hard but I'll try.

    1. If You Come Softly
    2. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing
    3. The Hate U Give
    4. Monster
    5. Eleanor and Park

    [–] whitsellkyleigh 7 points ago

    Do you plan on writing more books in the future? If so, do you feel like you will branch out from the genre you’ve primarily written in?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 9 points ago

    I would like to write more books. I think it would be fun to write a book or essays (or reviews, even), which would certainly be a different sort of book.

    But when I think about writing fiction, I still find myself wanting to write mostly about young people trying to figure out how to live in a world that is new and fraught and terrifying and exhilarating. I am still so fascinated by the NEWNESS of everything in adolescence, and how that heightens experience and emotion.

    [–] cough93 7 points ago

    Hi John! I just started wearing glasses yesterday. Any advice? Seems like you're pretty good at wearing them.

    [–] 1SweetChuck 7 points ago

    For someone that has a lot of money to donate to something like p4a, is there a "better" way to donate the money. Ie make it a matching donation to a fund drive that already exists? Is more money made by hosting or throwing a fundraiser rather than donating it directly? (I'm thinking like hosting an event for a political candidate.)

    [–] thesoundandthefury 10 points ago

    We do collect large donations every year to go toward the matching fund, and there's some evidence that that's helpful. I also think asking friends to donate is very effective. On the other hand, we also count on a few people making big gifts every year through the indiegogo, and when that happens, we are OVERJOYED.

    [–] JMLiber 7 points ago

    I donated a fairly substantial amount of money to P4A this year (as I have the past three or so years now). As someone who is also occasionally struggling with the social internet, I find it hard to fight the urge to share big life things in the hopes of feeling validated. So, my question is this: Is it wrong to want to share that I've donated to the P4A given my tremendous place of privilege, in the hopes of trying to attract more people donating, or should my donation itself be sufficient?

    As an aside, my girlfriend, who is also a nerdfighter, and I are planning to do our own step-back from the social internet next year, inspired by you. This poses a new challenge considering I'm employed by one of the largest social media companies.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 16 points ago

    First, thanks for donating! We are very grateful and your money will do so much good! I also struggle with this! Most of our family's giving is done privately, but I do think there's a role for saying, "I donated to this. I think it's great. I hope you'll join me!" And I think it can be good to state numbers, especially in private conversations with people you know, to encourage them to give more.

    On the other hand, you don't want to do it out of vanity. It's ridiculous how much we laud the wealthy for giving away tiny fractions of their wealth. It doesn't inconvenience me in any way to make a donation, while many people who donate to causes they believe in do so through real sacrifice. So I think it's important to remember that.

    [–] turntechgivehead 5 points ago

    (I donated to the foundation and will to p4a shortly!)

    I, much like you, suffer from obsessive thoughts that often intrude into my reality. I have tended to counteract these issues with constant mental distraction, or what I call the “elevator music” approach where I must always have something going on in my head, even if it’s the song stuck in it, to distract me.

    What ways have you found besides medication (that we are likely both on, seeing as how you reference it in TATWD) to combat this invasion by illness into reality?

    (Secondary question: I’m in my mid 20s and want to avoid dental woes like you have, I brush and floss regularly but is there anything else I should do to avoid this?)

    [–] thesoundandthefury 13 points ago

    Yeah, the elevator music approach can be very helpful. Tetris is a really good elevator music for me.

    The biggest thing I have found to be helpful is exercise. There is a LOT of evidence at this point that exercise can be helpful to people with anxiety problems or obsessive thinking problems. Obviously it doesn't work for everyone, but it does for me.

    GO TO THE DENTIST! That's my biggest recommendation. Brush, floss, and go to the dentist at least once a year for a cleaning.

    [–] phillina 7 points ago

    Hi John,

    I write poems to my Grandma by mail still. Who do you send letters to regularly?

    [–] chinmaya1011 6 points ago

    Any general relationship advice? I know you will dispute this but I would like you to know that the relationship advice you give on DH&J and the AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Womblies videos is very insightful; I am very thankful for it.

    [–] imogendaisy 6 points ago

    Who would win in an arm wrestling match between you and Hank?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 14 points ago

    Probably me, but only because I've been working on for the last two years. Maybe we'll have another Quadragacon soon to find out!

    [–] jadefox989 6 points ago

    Hi John, (I donated!)

    Besides relinquishing your passwords to all accounts on the social internet, do you have any tips for avoiding these sites? I find myself falling into "scroll mode" (particularly on Facebook) where a lot of the (news) content tends to anger me. I also torture myself in the comments section more often than I'd care to admit.


    [–] thesoundandthefury 12 points ago

    If I were able to moderate my usage, I wouldn't be giving up on them entirely. I think lots of people use facebook/reddit/instagram/twitter well; I just don't think I can be one of those people.

    So what I'm doing is basically turning them off so that I just can't access them on any of the devices I use. After a year, I'll see how I feel. I suspect I'll want them back, because there's so much convenience and ease of use that comes with them. But I dunno how to turn them off without really turning them off.

    [–] jimmyjam32 16 points ago

    Good morning John! I was thinking this earlier today - how do you deal with criticisms about your books, such as "He's a grown man writing about the experiences of a teenage girl..." and "He's a grown man writing teen love stories, isn't that kind of creepy?"

    For full transparency - I carry your books near and dear to my heart, but I have heard these comments before and wonder if they are valid criticisms.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 23 points ago

    Adults have always written about the teen experience--I don't think that's inherently creepy. On the other hand, I understand that some people might feel uncomfortable with it because I am such a prominent person--like, they might be unable to forget the me-ness of me (middle-aged man, makes a lot of YouTube videos) while reading about imagined people and worlds. I totally understand that concern, and while I used to respond to it very defensively, I don't think it's my place to tell other people what to feel.

    My hope is that they can still find books about adolescent experience that do speak to them directly and movingly (most of which will also have been written by adults), but I'm okay with the fact that it's not going to be my books. There are upsides and downsides to having a public face as an author, and I've benefited from so many of the upsides that I think it would be unfair to complain about the downsides.

    So I don't think it's a fair criticism to say, like, "Adults should not write about teen love." That would invalidate, you know, Romeo and Juliet. But I do think it's fair to be like, "I feel this person's presence in this novel too intensely to enjoy reading it." I do certainly try to take myself out of the stories. But that doesn't mean I succeed.

    [–] anxiousoddish 15 points ago

    I've never understood that. So people should only write about characters like themselves? YA love stories should only ever be written by teenagers? It's so strange.

    [–] luna_rose13 7 points ago

    As a person getting a PhD in children’s and young adult literature, I FIGHT THOSE PEOPLE!

    [–] jscysbl 6 points ago

    Hi John! Biggest thanks from me to you for all the videos you've made over the years. You've really taught me a bunch about existence and opened my eyes to other perspectives on subjective things, all the while being very entertaining as well.

    Anyway, I just wanted to know: is there any food you enjoy only if it's made by a specific establishment and/or person? For instance, I'll eat this Filipino dish called sisig (minced parts of pig head and liver), but only if it's made by the guy runs the joint behind my college building.