Archive for ‘internet (blogs etc)’



A growing body of research shows that when you share a laugh with someone, you’re mirroring not only one another’s body language, but also the hormonal and neuronal activity, prompting a mutual investment in each other’s well-being. That’s a bond of kindness—and you’ll need acts of kindness to make it in any career.

Drake Baer, “Why Humor Makes You More Creative” (2013)



What the world needs more of is not new ideas and daring dreams, but commitment. A willingness to do the hard work that matters… It’s time to commit. To a job, a relationship, a path. Something. Anything. We don’t need your restlessness or your excitement. We have enough Peter Pans, thank you very much. What we need is a little more conviction in our difference-makers. We need your focus, your pluck, your courage. We need you to commit.

Jeff Goins, “The Three Levels of Commitment” (2013)


i don’t know

There is really no prescription for creative work, I heard a writer say the other day that he sits down at the keyboard and the first thing he says to himself is ‘I don’t know.’

Geoff Talbot, as quoted in “The Joy of Creative Ignorance” on 99u (2013)


get our hands dirty

We all need to step away from the computer from time to time and get our hands dirty. We need that space to build things, hammer things, and create things—things of glory and things that are an utter (let’s face it) disaster. We can laugh for that extra five minutes when we scrub ink and paint out of our hair, all remnants of the best and most creatively rewarding afternoon we’ve had in weeks.

Andy Luce, “The Necessity for the Tangible” on (2013)



The solution suggested by this research, as well as my own, is as simple as it is startling: Do less. But do what you do with complete and hard focus. Then when you’re done be done, and go enjoy the rest of the day.

Cal Newport, “If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers” (2011)



If I’m working on a book I treat it like I would my fishing. I need to eat, breathe, and sleep the writing, or it just isn’t good. I need tunnel vision, really single focus. Even when I’m not sitting down and writing, the rest of the day I’m still working on it in my head. When I’m hauling lobster traps in the afternoon, it’s a very mindless activity for me. It’s just physical, and I spend that time thinking about what I’m working on the next morning. I don’t sit down and wonder what I’m going to write about. Often I’ve already worked out the first paragraph in my head, to the point of it being really polished. I’m off and running the second I sit down to write.

Linda Greenlaw, in “How Deep Sea Fishing Prepares You For Writing,” by Jessica Grose (2013)


long thoughts

When I observe how I consume information, I’ve become increasingly aware of how little actual deep information I’m consuming. Each morning, I launch a series of tab groups (News, Nerds, Apple, Games, Hockey) in my browser, and as I read each of the front pages in these groups, I’m basically reading tweets — the short headlines that describe what occurred. Sometimes I’ll drill down on an article, but again, if I carefully consider my reading of them, my eyes dart from headline to headline without truly consuming and digesting the words.

I am learning something. The article I’m lightly consuming has become bookmarked in my head, and if it comes up in casual conversation later in the day, I can vigorously nod and say, “Yes, yes, I read that”. But I haven’t really. I noted the shortest version of it; I can quote the simplest version of it. I have a facade of the story and the illusion of knowledge.

I miss long thoughts.

“Rands” (Michael Lopp), “The Long Thought” on Rands in Repose (2013)



Stop praising the jerks. It reinforces bad behaviour.

Marc Johns, “Be Kind” (2012)



I’ve never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.

Randall Munroe, “What if?” Comic #30 (2013)


the makers of language

Lexicographers do not sit in sleek conference rooms and make your language. That’s what you—the reading, writing, speaking public—do. Language is democratic, not oligarchic. That’s where the real glamour is.

Kory Stamper, “An Introduction to Harmless Drudgery” (2012)


oh fascinating

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.

Ashleigh Brilliant (

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