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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Writing

The streak goes on

Writing can be a painful activity. The idea of thinking and starting from scratch every day frightens the muse.

But just as exercise, the trick is in getting started.

Knowing that we’re not always propelled by the underground voltage of curiosity and enthusiasm, we have to depend on a non-thinking routine.

Showing up to practice is what puts the bones in our words.

Swimming in impulses and doubt — remembering the possibility of revision helps tame the symphony of perfection.

Relaxed in process, mixing words into a jigsaw puzzle of sentences, we hold material and belief more firmly.

We finish another day, until the brain strains for another run tomorrow. Addicted to vocation, flush with anxiety, we numb all feelings with adamant flow.

The streak goes on.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Postaday Psychology

From your mouth

Words signify a consciousness, of which a newborn or pet can only hear. The baby goes on to break a word up into its individual sounds, eventually coalescing into a communicative language of memes while your dog relies on its own form of internal narrative.

There is some form of mental awareness in all creatures. A body without a brain contains zero working neurons and a dead narrative.

Words are tokens, pictures drawn with letters

Words are a different animal than pictures, perhaps the most effective at harvesting attention; humans use words to propagandize, market, deceive and spread evil. Said Nikola Tesla on the potency of language: “If hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.”

Words are sensory stimulants, made of information to which you supply order. They carve out emotions for which both the bad and good stuff sticks. The more you use a word, the more you’ll be charged for it. “Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words,” wrote William Faulkner in his 1927 novel, Mosquitos.

We invent words, best exemplified in lists, because we don’t want to die. Words cue action, form, and follow-through. Yet they also slip the leash — it is their existence that also poses the most threat to our everyday consciousness.

To make meaning and deeper complexity, we need better mental processors.

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Writing

Don’t hold that thought 💬✒️

When in doubt, speak up. Talking is a tool for excavating thoughts—microphone in hand or not. It’s only after the speaking occurs do the words begin to flow.

The same goes for writing. One doesn’t need an audience in order to do it. The movement of the pen gears the brain into motion so that words hit the top of the tongue at precisely the right time.

“The pen is the tongue of the mind.”

Horace

Speaking and writing cue the neural pathways. They lay the groundwork for ideas to germinate and bloom.

Chatter, whether external or internal, are the firsts step in solidifying beliefs and discovering something interesting to say. The real enemy is a chattering brain that hesitates and never spits it out.

Inspiration and perfection are for amateurs–start before you’re ready.

Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work

Reexamining the Kiss Principle

“Keep it simple and stupid.” That was the acronym coined by aircraft engineer Clarence Johnson during the early 1930s. He proposed the “H” style tail for airplanes which helped stabilize flight.

Keeping it simple is always easier said than done. What may appear visually simple, took a deduction of complex details.

We don’t get to simplicity without amassing a pile of disparate parts first and then building shitty first drafts.

Complexity is often hidden within the design — such as the case with Apple products and apps like Instagram which appear simple on the outside but contain convoluted architecture and code on the inside.  

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” said Leonardo da Vinci, who painted over pieces that didn’t meet expectations. Artists like Pablo Picasso and writers like Ernest Hemingway edited down their pieces, again and again, to reduce their craft into the most practicable and understood forms.

Erasing difficulties requires patience of experimentation. It takes both head and heart work to minimize the unnecessary while maximizing utility in powerfully simple ways.

With a bit more curiosity and execution, we can turn less into more.

Categories
Books Writing

‘Good work only comes through revision’

After a lifetime of hounding authors for advice, I’ve heard three truths from every mouth: (1) Writing is painful— it’s ‘fun’ only for novices, the very young, and hacks; (2) other than a few instances of luck, good work only comes through revision; (3) the best revisers often have reading habits that stretch back before the current age, which lends them a sense of history and raises their standards for quality.”

THE ART OF MEMOIR BY MARY KARR
Categories
Books Productivity & Work Quotes Writing

‘The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it’

the war of art steven pressfield

“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. The more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no resistance.”

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield