The calendar from 1895 and 2019 share the same dates

This is neat. The calendar from 1895 and 2019 share the same dates. Mind the prescient quote. Everything comes in circles…The old wheel turns and the same spoke comes up. It has all been done before and will be again… Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Valley of Fear

The link between imagination and anxiety

“Anxiety is the price we pay for an ability to imagine the future. That’s what anxiety is, an imagination of a future that hasn’t happened yet, but that you are concerned with, worried about, dreading, and so on.” Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety art by @aishwaryasadasivan

The Writer’s BLOCK

Illustrator and author of The Shape of Ideas Grant Snider, dropped a new comic for New York Times books that outlines the pains of writer’s block using the metaphor of a city block itself. I’ve written extensively on the myth of a writer’s block here before. And it’s just that, a myth. No matter what fictitious […]

Constraint is freedom

More often than not we aim for freedom from constraint. No one likes to be nailed down to a particular way of doing things. But on some occasions, constraints can be freeing.  For one, deadlines are great motivators. We’d never get anything done without any pressure. Writing is difficult enough — put a cap on […]

‘Writing a book is like telling a joke…’

Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait two years to know whether or not it was funny. Alain de Botton True, books can’t be instantly graded like a Tweet. But giving a book at least two years of work enables the author to go deeper and explore the magic wand […]

Thinking in fragments

Half-baked ideas are valuable ideas. Messy minds and messy processes generate new ways of thinking.  We create through the imperfect. “A small drop of ink makes thousands, perhaps millions think,” wrote businessman and self-help book author William Clement Stone. The more ideas we have, the more we have to play with. Brainstorming is, therefore, a democratic […]

Neil Gaiman teaches the art of storytelling

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the disclosure for more info. In what is one of the biggest MasterClass courses yet, award-winning author Neil Gaiman teaches students how to create compelling plots, new characters, and bring unseen worlds to life. In 19 lessons, the world-renowned writer takes his students through his own philosophy on what […]

Mary Oliver: The poem gets written

“It is 6am and I am working. I am absent-minded, reckless, heedless of social obligations etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, and the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written.” Mary Oliver Who needs the muse when you’ve got a proper habit? […]

Be good at two things

Cartoonist and former ad copywriter Hugh MacLeod sent out an excellent newsletter about being good at two things. In it, he spells out the reasons why we should be knowledgeable in two areas in order to maximize our unique career potential. When you’re very good at “n”, there are probably thousands of people who are […]