Books That May Warrant
Blackwater--The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army,
This Year You Write Your Novel,
Rumsfeld--His Rise, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy,
And our favorite book title of the month:
A weblog devoted to spurring a conversation among those who use words to varying degrees in their daily work. Hosted by John Ettorre, a Cleveland-based writer and editor. Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. "There comes a time when you realize that everything is a dream, and only those things preserved in writing have any possibility of being real." --James Salter
Books That May Warrant
March Madness Bipolar Disorder
Here Are Two Chances to Join Me
Permission Marketing Guru Seth Godin
I now firmly believe that there are two polar opposites at work: Thrill seekers and Fear avoiders. Notice that I don't use the word 'risk' to describe either category. More on that soon. How do we explain the fact that Forbes finds more than 700 billionaires and virtually none are both young and retired? Why keep working?
How do explain why so many organizations get big and then just stop? Stop innovating, stop pushing, stop inventing...
Why are seminars sometimes exciting, bubbling pots of innovation and energy while others are just sort of dronefests?
I think people come to work with one of two attitudes (though there are plenty of people with a blend that's somewhere in between):
Thrill seekers love growth. They most enjoy a day where they try something that was difficult, or--even better--said to be impossible, and then pull it off. Thrill seekers are great salespeople because they view every encounter as a chance to break some sort of record or have an interaction that is memorable.
Fear avoiders hate change. They want the world to stay just the way it is. They're happy being mediocre, because being mediocre means less threat/fear/change. They resent being pushed into the unknown, because the unknown is a scary place.
An interesting side discussion: one of the biggest factors in the success of the US isn't our natural resources or location. It's that so many people in this country came here seeking a thrill.
So why not call them risk seekers and risk avoiders? Well, it used to be true. Seeking thrills was risky. But no longer. Now, of course, safe is risky. The horrible irony is that the fear avoiders are setting themselves up for big changes because they're confused. The safest thing they can do now, it turns out, is become a thrill seeker.
Who do you work with?
Last Year's Best Magazine Article Tells Story
Josh Marshall & Talkingpointsmemo:
The Shallow Preoccupations of Empire
Learners Shall Inherit the Earth
Indians' Immortal Bob "Inky" Feller
Dr. Seuss Says: Woe Be Unto the Writer
On Surges & Having the Last Laugh
Why a Writer's Inner Conviction
Over time, productive writers develop work habits that would make an accountant gasp with admiration. After wasting too many years waiting for genius to strike, Stendahl finally settled on a regimen of 'twenty lines a day, genius or not.' Like Stendahl, many writers--including Norman Mailer, Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene--assigned themselves production quotas to meet as if they were Soviet workers fulfilling five-year plans. Arthur Hailey wrote his daily quota--six hundred words--at the top of a pad, then wouldn't allow himself to put the pad down until he'd fulfilled it. Anthony Trollope assigned himself not only a quota of words but a time limit in which to produce them. with his watch tickign away before him, the British novelist routinely wrote 250 words every quarter hour...The quota approach to writing sounds compulsive: the writer as word counter. But quotas serve an important psychic function. they keep writers workign despite the normal, almost irresistible urge to quit. Writers need some gimmick--often many gimmicks--to keep themselves going despite their anxiety...But don't gimmicks produce drivel? Sometimes. Even drivel can be fixed, however.
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Unlike what nonwriters often believe, good writing does not require a big vocabulary. E.B. White thought one of his blessings as a writer was the fact that his limited vocabulary didn't permit him to use obscure words. Mark Twain had a similar perspective...Insecure writers want to show off their vocabulary from fear of sounding ignorant. If I don't use obscure words, they seem to wonder, how will readers know that I have a college degree? If I do use simple words, won't people think I'm a simpleton? Such attitudes make for deadly writing.
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Writers' gatherings of all kinds are, or at least ought to be, settings where we learn not so much how to write but how to dare to write. No single task is more important to the process of becoming a writer.
Gardner, the Guru of Multiple Intelligences,
What is an ethical mind? In thinking of the mind as a set of cognitive capacities, it helps to distinguish the ethical mind from the other four minds that we particularly need to cultivate if we are to thrive as individuals, as a community and as a human race. The first of these, the disciplined mind, is what we gain from applying ourselves in a disciplined way in school. Over time and with sufficient training, we gain expertise in one or more fields: We become experts in project management, accounting, music, dentistry and so forth. A second kind of mind is the synthesizing mind, which can survey a wide range of sources, decide what is important and worth paying attention to, and weave this information together in a coherent fashion for oneself and others. A third mind, the creating mind, casts about for new ideas and practices, innovates, takes chances, discovers. While each of these minds has long been valuable, all of them are essential in an era when we are deluged with information, and when anything that can be automated will be. Yet another kind of mind, less purely cognitive in flavor than the first three, is the respectful mind: the kind of open mind that tries to understand and form relationships with other human beings. A person with a respectful mind enjoys being exposed to different types of people. While not forgiving of all, she gives others the benefit of the doubt.