Less time and shorter attention spans mean adjusting your writing to fit your audience—without losing your voice.
Getting up early is a real chore for many—especially when it doesn’t come naturally. Set your alarm earlier, and you may be surprised at how easily…
Sounds like: errors you didn’t know you were making.
"Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper."
Molskine + Paper app = a beautiful match made in heaven
Like Evernote? Like Post-it Notes? You’re gonna love this.
The two have teamed up to create new stickies, which the Evernote app recognizes by color, and automatically digitizes and organizes the notes into different categories.
"There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that."
—Ernest Hemingway, who got up insanely early and knew the benefits of a standing desk.
Ricky Gervais (whose new Netflix series, Derek, debuts September 12) shares a story about an early creative turning point that forever informed the way he writes and works.
"I wanted specific evidence—evidence that would conjure up detailed memories—that I had an awesome life … I look back on that document of awesomeness, and I go: ‘Wow.’"
Keeping a journal is one easy daily habit that makes life more awesome
Elmore Leonard, the recently deceased author of 45 novels, including Get Shorty, Hombre, Swag,Raylan, and Glitz (he died at work on his 46th), was reluctant to write about his own writing. But back in 2001 the New York Times convinced him to make a list of his 10 writing rules:
1. Never use the words ”suddenly” or ”all hell broke loose.”
Leonard writes that this rule doesn’t even require an explanation.
2. Use regional dialect, patois sparingly.
“Once you start,” writes Leonard, “you won’t be able to stop.”
3. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
Leonard cites a Hemingway short story in which the only physical description of a couple introduced as the ”American and the girl with him” is: ”She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.” Enough said.
Happy Sunday! We know Mondays are hard, but here are a few reads to help you be more productive this week:
- 8 steps to help you actually get good at phone calls
- How to be an ideal coworker
- How writing, real writing, makes you smarter
- How to deal with haters
Have a wonderful start to your week, everyone.
“So I set aside an hour an hour every day from 5 to 6 in the morning before the kids got up, and I set up my word limit. I had to write 500 words a day. I just sort of forced myself to do it.”
This pen vibrates when you make a mistake!
Google honors Maurice Sendak’s birthday with a moving Where The Wild Things Are doodle.
1. The “McDonald’s theory of bad ideas”
This isn’t entirely new, but I love how Jason Jones recasts it to apply to group collaboration. We probably know what we’d all want in an ideal world. But the hardest part is establishing a floor—what suggestion sucks so much that we’d never do it? Let’s start there and work our way up. The by-product is that we all reveal what we consider to be “self-evidently bad,” a process which, in and of itself, can help everyone question their assumptions.
2. Julian Assange’s take on the new book by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt
The book is, he says, “an attempt by Google to position itself as America’s geopolitical visionary,” a notion I find alternately horrifying and inspiring. The piece strikes at the core of my ambivalence about Google, which is a subject of something I’m writing this week, two weeks after my trip to their big developer conference. I’ve never come across a company with such vision in some areas—try out a Chromebook Pixel—and such a sad lack of humanity in others—ahem, Google Glass. Never has such a bipolar company had so much power, so much money, and such an uncertain future as they wean off display advertising.
I spotted the founder of this company at Google I/O wearing a full-length, multicolored glowing faux-fur coat that absolutely blew my mind. We’ve been covering the right (and wrong) way to design wearable technology, and I’m convinced this sort of thing—while obviously a little ostentatious for everyday use—is hinting at the most inspiring future for fashion design and software you wear.