The Pain of Doing vs. The Pain of Not Doing

As Steven Pressfield so eloquently explains in his book The War of Art, there's a force called Resistance that stands in direct opposition to all creative endeavors. The force of the Resistance is equal to the force of the creative energy begging to be made tangible. It hates the fulfillment of creative vision with the same passion that the muses love it. It's similar to the concept of resistance in weight training; a force that's…

Precision, Not Pretention

Mastering the art of writing requires becoming precise. The best writers are deeply precise with their language usage. They don't need many words to tell the truth; but the ones they choose are the right ones. If truth is the fine edge of a knife blade -- sharp when it cuts you, and so narrow you might miss it -- then the words to describe the truth must be precise enough to balance on that…

Rules for Writing: Sentence Echoes

An important rule for good writing: always end a sentence with the most important word. The last word in a sentence lingers in the reader's mind. Think of it as having a resonance, or an echo. The sound holds long after the rest of the sentence has died, and it plays a significant role in the shaping of the sentence's tone. For example: "... and they're unprepared for the world of finance, specifically." The word…

Remember That You’re in Control

I was talking to a Praxis participant today about the upheaval of moving, and the stress of getting settled in a new city. Finding a place to live, coordinating logistics, and working on a tight timeline for all of the above can be incredibly overwhelming. As someone who's getting ready to move for the fifth time in the past 15 months, I understand the stress a lack of certainty can bring. Multiple moves have been…

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…

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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