Notes on the Style of “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller

Disclaimer: do not read if you don't like spoilers. This blog post is built of them. I've been meaning to read The Song of Achilles for some time. I'd heard good things about the author and the writing, and I'm partial to the stories of the Greek and Roman heroes, even in retold form (The Love Artist, a story about Ovid, is a phenomenal novel and comes highly recommended). The novel did not disappoint. In…

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as it Pertains to Fiction

Alternate title: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, as it relates to fiction -- because it does. It has a direct correlation to the interestingness of the stories you tell. Just as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs dictates the things in life we find most compelling (or that carry the most emotional weight), so too does it dictate the things we find most fascinating in stories -- because fiction imitates reality. The farther up the hierarchy the elements…

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Be Deliberate About What You Consume

In the same way that the adage is true for our bodies -- we are what we eat. So too is the same true for content consumption. The ideas we intake become the foundation with which we build all of our thoughts, our ideas, and our creative processes. Our brains are constantly processing information. Be deliberate about what you allow yours to process. Don't intake senseless information out of laziness. Be deliberate about the little…

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Coming into Rhythm with Your Natural Workflows

One of the beauties of the internet age is the inherent flexibility in the way we work. Unlike the older industrial systems (of which our industrial education system is bred), which required a certain consistency in time (when you're using a series of wheels and gears, each cog must fit seamlessly together), our new world is one of fluidity. The digital world functions whether anyone's at the factory at 7am sharp or not, and the…

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Whiteboarding as a Structure for Thinking

Over the past few months, I've become an adamant proponent of whiteboarding -- as a mode of organization, but more importantly, as a structure for thinking. Every time I have a creative problem I'm solving, or a project I'm structuring, I take it to the whiteboard and I lay out a roadmap for the solution. I use it for work on a regular basis (at this point, I've commandeered half the whiteboards in the office…

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The Oedipus Principle: Don’t Run from Your Fears

"Fear of getting hurt, ironically, increases your risk of getting hurt." -- Ed Latimore In the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, the play's eponymous hero, Oedipus, was born to the king and queen of Thebes. At his birth, a prophecy was given -- that Oedipus would one day kill his father and marry his mother. The king and queen were horrified. Such a child could not be allowed to live, so they gave him to a…

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