Toggling between two vastly different mindsets — being open-minded and being highly focused — is challenging and messy but it's the best way to become a creative, confident, productive writer.  Continue reading...
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These eight essays are a perfect way into learning about how a writer who started at the lowest rung at Time magazine in the 1950s developed to become the author associated with a body of nonfiction that is unparalleled in modern American letters for its breadth and depth.  Continue reading...
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If I were the Queen of the World, I'd give every would-be writer the determination to produce a few hundred words first thing in the morning. Yet many writers can't possibly write in the morning for a variety of good reasons, and if you're one of them, this column is for you.  Continue reading...
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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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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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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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