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While it's true that Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Mark Twain all had messy workplaces, it's also certain that clean, organized desks keep most people efficient and more productive. I know that I'm always more prolific, more creative and happier when my desk is tidy. Which isn't to say that I'm always able to keep it that way. Some days I fear I must be suffering from Irritable Desk Syndrome.  Continue reading...
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Whether you're an acrobat or a writer, you can do only one thing at a time. And, like the acrobats who watch their eating and drinking habits before performances, writers who spend some time thinking about what they want to write — before writing — are going to be better prepared for the demands of the job.  Continue reading...
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Whenever I talk about the benefits of the crappy first draft some people always object. Why? For some, it's a habit and — as anyone who's tried to quit smoking can tell you — habits are hard to break. But for others the problem is fear.  Continue reading...
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When I started writing, 35 years ago, I always wrote short. If a client or boss wanted 750 words, by instinct I produced 625. If the total was supposed to be 350, I sweated out 215. Usually, I had difficulty getting enough words, not too many. For many people, however, the problem is the reverse.  Continue reading...
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Do you find writing interesting and pleasant — a time filled with self-discovery? Or is it stressful and unpleasant — sort of like a root canal crossed with doing your income taxes?  Continue reading...
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Have you ever emailed me? If so, you likely received a reply in less than 24 hours. Yet I refuse to let email rule my life. I see email as a wonderfully improbable tool that allows me to communicate quickly and easily in the blink of an eye. Still, the writing of emails is an insidious task that could easily gobble up hours out of every day.  Continue reading...
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Every beginning writer I know abhors the idea of a crappy first draft. It's embarrassing, mortifying and humiliating. They know their boss or client or publisher is going to hate it. They're going to hate it themselves because they fear it will make them look inept and unskilled. Thus, they don't want to it exist on their hard-drive, even for a nanosecond. If this is your belief, I'm here to tell you you're wrong. You should LOVE your crappy first draft. You should worship it. You should seek to create it as soon as you possibly can.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 121 Articles