We’re All Done With Pandemic Shaming!
Happy to report that there’s been a swift and strong pushback on the whole “use your pandemic time productively” push. From the meme world… From the New York Times… …and from J.K. Rowling herself! No quote tweeting, but if you’re a ‘life coach’ who’s on here implying people are losers if they aren’t learning a…Read More
Focusmate: a Productivity App That Really Works!
So I don’t recommend products or apps very often, and when I have, the results have been mixed. (Libro.fm IS a good indie-bookstore-supporting substitute for Audible, but CBD oil as a sleep aid is probably an expensive placebo at best.) But I have NO hesitation in recommending Focusmate, an inexpensive app that gives you a…Read More
How About We Not Be Perfectionist During a Pandemic?
Sorry I’ve been quiet: I’ve been finishing my latest book, Productivity is Power: 5 Liberating Practices for College Students. I’ll have more to share on that shortly. I’m compelled to write now, however, because there’s been a spate of posts by people who seem to think that shaming others for their supposed underproductivity during a…Read More
Biographer Robert Caro on How It’s All About Perspective
Most books (and many theses and other projects) take years to produce, and that’s a simple fact. And yet, the “When will you be done?” question can bedevil new writers in particular. (Even worse when it’s phrased disrespectfully, as in: “What? Are you still working on that thing?”) That’s why this anecdote from Caro’s autobiography…Read More
Perfectionism is All Lies and Oversimplifications, Part One Million
This tweet has it all, from a perfectionist standpoint: It: Sets an impossibly high standard for success. (You should be as successful as Apple’s Steve Jobs, etc.) Is shaming. (“What’s your excuse?”) Makes specious comparisons. (Between you and these ultra-successful outliers, most of whom also achieved their success decades ago, in a very different society…Read More
Roll Over Beethoven!
At a recent performance of Johannes Brahms’s First Symphony, the conductor told how, when Brahms was just starting out, the elder composer Robert Schumann praised him to the high heavens. Here’s the story: Brahms was only twenty years old and as yet little known….Robert expressed his admiration first in a letter to Joachim, and then…Read More
The Conversation You Have With Your Work
Creative / scholarly work is actually a conversation between yourself (your ideas, emotions, perceptions) and your materials and influences. Or, as glass artist Davide Penso recently put it in an interview in Glass Art Magazine: “I didn’t and don’t presume to work in glass, but to support it and assign it the task of molding…Read More
Dogs Like LoFi Hip Hop Too!
Recently I wrote about Lofi Hip Hop YouTube radio channels, which many people like to listen to while studying, writing, etc. Turns out dogs like Lofi, too! Enjoy these remaining dog days of summer, and don’t forget to draw lessons from them that you can use to live a happier life all year long. Also,…Read More
You’ve Got Time…
Our society tend to fetishize early success, but lest we forget… Toni Morrison: 40 Mark Twain: 41 Marcel Proust: 43 Henry Miller: 44 JRR Tolkien: 45 Raymond Chandler: 51 Richard Adams: 52 Annie Proulx: 57 Laura Ingalls Wilder: 65 Frank McCourt: 66 Harriett Doerr: 74 Harry Bernstein: 96 No, you’re not too old to publish…Read More
Why an Anime Girl (or Raccoon!) Might Be Your Next Productivity Buddy
Back in Cambridge, MA, where I used to live, a group of writers used to meet regularly to get some work done. After a quick hello – no chit chat, latte ordering, or other delays – they all sat down and started working. It was so quiet you could hear the proverbial pin drop, and…Read More