The act of feeling frustrated is an essential part of the creative process. Before we can find the answer — before we can even know the question — we must be immersed in disappointment, convinced that a solution is beyond our reach. We need to have wrestled with the problem and lost. Because it’s only after we stop searching that an answer may arrive. From Imagine by Jonah Lehrer.
If you’ve found something you really like to do – say write beautiful sentences – not because of the possible benefits to the world of doing it, but because doing it brings you the satisfaction and sense of completeness nothing else can, then do it at the highest level of performance you are capable of, and leave the world and its problems to others. This is a lesson I have preached before in these columns when the s
Had the pleasure of hearing Nick Hornby talk earlier this week. (He’s promoting his new book More Baths Less Talking.) I’d forgotten that he wrote the screenplay for An Education, one of my favorite movies, along with High Fidelity, (which he did not write the screenplay for, if you follow my meaning.) Take aways from the evening: you can put down a book if you’re not enjoying it. You can admit to y
What a strange story, as told by the Writer’s Almanac: It’s the birthday of the poet Arthur Rimbaud (books by this author), born in Charleville, France (1854). He began writing letters to the poet Paul Verlaine, whose work he admired, and Verlaine invited him to stay at his house. When he arrived, Rimbaud had his first masterpiece in his pocket, a poem called “The Drunken Boat” (1871), describ
Psychologist Patricia Keith-Spiegel identified two primary reasons why we laugh: We laugh out of surprise, or we laugh when we feel superior. Additional motivations: We laugh out of instinct. We laugh at incongruity. We laugh out of ambivalence. We laugh for release. We laugh when we solve a puzzle. We laugh to regress. From Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer