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Writing

Writing by hand makes your brain wait

In writing by hand, we deliberately pause to make the brain wait. This forced interruption, called disfluency, yields more thoughtful writing.

There’s a reason many successful writers from David Foster Wallace to JK Rowling opt to write with pen and paper — longhand is intentionally slower than the click-clack of a keyboard. (Note: I do encourage everyone to blog as another instrument of expression and a place to show your work).

When your mind moves as fast as the computer keys, you tend to overproduce. It’s like taking down all the professor’s notes in class. While everything gets consumed none of the words have staying power. There’s no such thing as a tranquil flood of information.

Writing by hand makes your brain wait
gif by Rosie Phillpot

Don’t be afraid to slow down and write longhand

It’s true: the more you get down, the more you have to play with. They even say to write continuously to push out our ideas.

But acceleration can reduce the quality of your prose. The neurons need time to connect to each other in order to talk with more clarity.

Whether you’re writing via keyboard or analog, all writing is in the edit. Having a writing process just makes it easier.

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Creativity Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Success depends on your ability to endure boredom

Your success depends on your ability to focus for extended periods of time. Whether you’re a writer, a musician, or basketball player, the goal should be to practice your craft at least an hour a day.

To focus is a discipline. It takes work, just as being happy is a decision that requires consistent effort. It’s easy to procrastinate and let distractions come to us so we can appear busy. Busyness often gets confused with checking email or social networking, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes waiting to pay at the grocery. You’re better off using that dull time to observe, listen, or mull over your own thoughts. Perhaps there’s something you forgot to do.

Your mind works like a dishwasher even when you’re awake to clean out the crap that’s not worth hanging on to. The internet more often adds to the noise and produces little signal. You want a brain that’s clear and connective rather than cloudy and chaotic.

The author Neil Gaiman believes that the best way to write a book is to be so bored you don’t have a choice. Imagine all the things you could accomplish if you used your time doing the work instead of dreaming about it.

Success depends on your ability to endure boredom
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Uncategorized

The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort.

David Foster Wallace
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The Web

What it really was was the bathroom wall of the U.S. psyche. – David Foster Wallace