‘The test of a book is how much good stuff you can throw away’

“The test of a book is how much good stuff you can throw away,” he said. “When I’m writing it, I’m just as proud as a goddam lion. I use the oldest words in the English language. People think I’m an ignorant bastard who doesn’t know the ten-dollar words. I know the ten-dollar words. There […]

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Write just one sentence

Stuck, in limbo, at the fright of starting. It is the activation energy that gets us over the hurdle of inertia. For Ernest Hemingway, writing one sentence motivated him to write more and more. Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one […]

There is no perfect idea

There is no such thing as the perfect idea. As Rebecca Solnit writes in Hope in the Dark, ‘Perfection is a stick with which to beat the possible.’ Or as novelist Iris Murdoch instructs, “Every book is the wreck of a perfect idea.” Our creative work calls for more action than reaction. Sure, there are […]

Smoke This

Sitting is not the new smoking. Smoking kills you outright. Sitting for long periods of time without moving will do the same. But sitting in 45 minute intervals and then getting up to take a five minute break will keep you just as healthy as standing all day at work, which probably has its own […]

Cling Cling

Bad moods are sticky. They’re the harbinger for pessimism and depression. No one wants to hang around a Scrooge. “What you are thinking about you are becoming.” Muhammad Ali Bad moods are also contagious. People hate Monday’s because everyone else does too. People complain about rain, spreading feelings of anxiety and doom. The irony of […]