Six Things To Do If You’re Having Trouble Finishing Your Work

Here’s the list: (1) Show it! Often we procrastinate because we’re afraid to show our work to anyone. (“Afraid” is probably putting it lightly—we’re often terrified.) So stop hoarding your work and start showing it. But be judicious: there’s no point in showing to clueless or callous people. Show only to kind supporters who “get” […]

Well Paid New York Times Writers Have Interesting Theoretical Discussion on Whether Poverty is Good for (Other) Writers

“Do Money Woes Spur Creativity or Stifle It?” This was the dingbat question editors of the New York Times Bookends column considered worth debating this week. I’ll share my full comment on the piece in a moment, but first: can you even imagine asking this about practitioners in any non-arts field? I can’t! Gives you […]

Sorry, Kurt Vonnegut, You’re “Not Compelling Enough”

Everyone gets rejected. Even Kurt Vonnegut, Madonna, Andy Warhol, and others who went on to be luminaries in their field. If you get rejected, don’t take it to heart. Learn from the experience and move on. Mostly, rejection is simply proof that you haven’t given up–which is a great thing.

On the Topic of Not Waiting for Ideal Conditions to Get Started

Here’s a gent who, having lost a lot of his vision in old age, continues to paint amazing things **using Microsoft Paint.** Very inspiring – and you won’t believe what he can do.

Ira Glass on Developing Your Creative Skill: Go for Quantity, Not Quality

The below 2 minute video of Ira Glass explaining how the secret to artistic quality is to do a lot of art is well worth your time. Bayles and Orland make the same point in their terrific book Art & Fear. They tell a (true, I believe) story of two pottery classes: One class was […]

Designer Milton Glaser’s Universe of Abundance

An important element of perfectionism is a sense of scarcity and deprivation, so this quotation from iconic graphic designer Milton Glaser offers an important antiperfectionist message: “If you perceive the universe as being a universe of abundance, then it will be. If you think of the universe as one of scarcity then it will be…I […]

Seth Godin and Jennifer Crusie on Artistic Legitimacy

Following onto the post about Amanda Palmer’s exhortation to legitimize yourself as an artist, instead of waiting for gatekeepers to do so, here are marketing guru Seth Godin and best-selling romance author Jennifer Crusie on the same topic. First, Godin: No knight, no shining armor “Sure, Seth can do that, because he has a popular […]

How to Live Your Summer Life All Year Long

  Summer is a time for play, but what does your play tell you about the life you’d really like to be living? Many of us, during the summer: Relax Get more athletic Get more sensual (Shakespeare didn’t write A Midwinter Night’s Dream, after all!) Interact more with nature, and Dress more casually and comfortably, […]

Terre Roche: Happiness Comes From Focusing on the Song, Not the Success

  Terre Roche and her sisters were substantially more than a flash in the rock ‘n roll pan in the late 1970’s. Their debut album, The Roches, was number one on the New York Times list for the year 1979. But as she describes in this moving article, massive critical acclaim does not always translate […]

Six Things You Should Never Say to a Photographer (Or, if You’re a Photographer, Never Say to Yourself!)

by Soraya Rudofsky and Hillary Rettig It’s never easy to be a creator, or creative professional, but in the age of ubiquitous camera-phones, photographers have it particularly rough. Photographers, how often have you heard someone say one of these: 1. “Photography’s easy, because the camera does all the work.” 2. “Photography’s not a real art […]

Betty Ming Liu Quits Her Job: Liberated Time Management in Action!

If your job is not central to your mission, but simply a way to earn money, then one of the profoundest acts of self-liberation you can make is to reduce your hours or (even better) quit. Blogger Betty Ming Liu just quit her job, and her list of goals for her next stage is awesome: […]

Artist Sol LeWitt’s Productivity Advice: Create More by Focusing on the Work Itself

This short movie contains many F-bombs but offers valid productivity advice: The movie’s text is an F-bombed version of a letter from Sol LeWitt to Eva Hesse, who struggled with self-doubt: Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping,…Stop it and just DO!… […]

Why Rodin’s “The Thinker” Should be Renamed “The Perfectionist” (Plus, Bonus Balzac!)

Auguste Rodin’s famous “The Thinker” statue (1902) is, all by itself, probably responsible for many cases of perfectionism and procrastination. It’s such a forceful statement that some, looking at it, probably think, “So THAT’S what intellectual work is supposed to look like! A grinding inner struggle! I’d better aim for that, and if my work […]