A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about. Ask me anything you can't Google.
Oct 17, 2014
I wrote a little something about reading here.
I have maybe one suicide a year and they all seem to be poets. If I were an insurance company, I’d never write a policy for poets.
To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves – there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect.
Over at The Atlantic, Derek Thompson points out that people think they like creativity, but teachers, scientists, and experts usually reject things that are too new. One possible solution? Disguise your new idea as an old one:
Creative people often bristle at the suggestion that they have to stoop to marketing their ideas. It’s more pleasant to think that one’s brilliance is self-evident and doesn’t require the gloss of sales or the theater of marketing. But whether you’re an academic, screenwriter, or entrepreneur, the difference between a brilliant new idea with bad marketing a mediocre idea with excellent marketing can be the difference between success and bankruptcy.
American culture worships creativity, but mostly in the abstract. Most people really don’t like new ideas that sound entirely new, particularly the experts that often have to approve them. The trick is learning to frame new ideas as old ideas—to make your creativity seem, well, not quite so creative.
Filed under: show your work
Oct 15, 2014
In Impro, Keith Johnstone writes that when improvisers try to be original, they fail. “Don’t be original; be obvious.” When you state the obvious, you actually seem original. Paradoxical, eh? Likewise, the more specific the feelings, experiences, stories – the more universal they appear. The trick is, what’s completely obvious to you isn’t obvious to anyone else. Many people can tell exactly the same story about exactly the same event, but if each speaks from their authentic point of view, each story will seem “original.”
Oct 14, 2014
if you want to get hit by a train you better go stand on the track.
Bill Murray on The Howard Stern Show
Worth a listen. My favorite bit, about money:
I save. I don’t know if I’m frugal… I didn’t blow a lot of money early on and if you don’t immediately spend your first paycheque, it adds up.”
I think the only reason I’ve had the career life that I’ve had is that someone told me some secrets early on about living. You can do the very best you can when you’re very, very relaxed, no matter what it is or what your job is, the more relaxed you are the better you are. That’s sort of why I got into acting. I realized the more fun I had, the better I did it. And I thought, that’s a job I could be proud of. It’s changed my life learning that. And it’s made me better at what I do.
Oct 13, 2014
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