Image by Emma McCreary
For the past few months, in a frankly indefensible violation of my own productivity principles (o hypocrisy! how bitter – albeit with a kind of karmic-justice, cosmic-balance sort of tang – thy fruit!), I’ve let my daily writing / weekly poem discipline slip.
It’s been grimly amusing to observe the effects of the lapse. The consequence has been something [ . . . ]
→ Read More: The necessary modicum
Image by David Stern
Today is the first time in a long while that I feel I’ve almost caught up with myself: no longer rushing from one seemingly urgent task to the next in a process of perpetual triage.
I don’t know why I should have this sudden sense of breathing space, because I still have the usual stacked-up pile of things [ . . . ]
→ Read More: A delicate hint
Image by Chris Lloyd
Something you learn very quickly when you take up distance running is that stopping mid-run (for a rest / to tie your shoelaces / to admire the wildlife etc) can be a perversely bad idea: a pause can make it really difficult to get going again, whereas slogging on at a steady pace has a rhythm that helps you [ . . . ]
→ Read More: Don’t stop movin’?
Image by Lance Kidwell
When I’m teaching creative writing, I often like to do an exercise involving constraints – a poem in a highly rigid form, for example, or a set of prescriptive (“Use all these words”) or proscriptive (“Don’t use any adjectives”) rules. It’s one of the most exciting paradoxes of creativity that constraints can actually enhance creative output: for example, consider [ . . . ]
→ Read More: On constraints
Image by Aaron Neifer
Towards the end of my time in Cambridge, I started going to twice-weekly yoga classes. Our yoga teacher delighted in pointing out that the tightness of our joints and muscles, which so limited our flexibility, was mental rather than physical; if we were knocked out completely by a general anaesthetic, he said, we’d be as bendy as contortionists, because [ . . . ]
→ Read More: A yoga lesson
Image by Fred Fokkelman
It’s almost certainly churlish of me to complain about the Internet, since it provides me with such a fruitful canvas for creativity – and expressing creativity is one of the things that really makes my life feel worth living. However, in the spirit of a typical ungrateful human, complain I will.
The biggest problem I have with my life [ . . . ]
→ Read More: Elusive leisure
Image by foxumon
Drivenness draws its energy from the past. It deludes with a sense of striving for the future, reaching forward, being self-motivated, but all the while it pushes from behind: goading with the threat of old, un-acknowledged hurts and fears; spurring with the need to prove some childhood giant of a nay-sayer wrong; whipping up endless activity to drown out the [ . . . ]
→ Read More: Drivenness and enthusiasm: a field guide
Image by Guido Farina.
I‘ve just finished reading Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air”, a compelling personal account of the disastrous climbing season on Mount Everest in 1998, when twelve climbers lost their lives.
Krakauer, a journalist and a seasoned mountaineer, had been commissioned by Outside magazine to joined a guided Everest expedition and write about the trip. In the aftermath of the disaster, [ . . . ]
→ Read More: Climb every mountain?