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 Abdulaziz Almansour
I’ve often written, on this blog and elsewhere, about the utility of routine: the good habits that let you get over the getting-started hump or past the blank-page anxiety and into your creative stride.
When I started this blog, more than a year ago now, I set myself a somewhat punishing daily-posting schedule. For a while, I [ . . . ]
→ Read More: If not now, when?
Image by Roger Kirby
For the past two days, I’ve been absorbed in the mechanistic-but-nervewracking process of upgrading my main server (which, for the geeks among you, runs Slackware Linux) by two full operating system versions.
The Slackware upgrade process is generally straightforward and robust, but nonetheless it makes me very tense. In the past I’ve made various stupid mistakes or omissions [ . . . ]
→ Read More: On being prepared (albeit grudgingly)
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 Neil Gould
If you’ve ever had any dealings with computer security, you rapidly become aware that the weak point in any system’s security strategy is the human users of that system (which, as an aside, explains the existence of that particular sub-species of system administrator who would clearly be much happier if there were no pestilential users at all). However souped-up [ . . . ]
→ Read More: On being the weakest link
Image by Herman Brinkman
This morning, like every other Monday morning, a certain proportion of working people woke up with a sigh, a frown or a groan at the grim prospect of another five-day grind until the weekend. Cynics sometimes posit that the main function of mass education is to churn out “good little workers” who’ll endure this sort of thing, but I [ . . . ]
→ Read More: Friday I’ve got Monday on my mind