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What makes us good at what we do?  Links on skill, revision, and creativity.

Reading About


Personal Best

This article about a surgeon and coaches doesn't seem as if it would have much to do with writing, but it does.  And almost any other skilled/creative job.

The Creativity Myth

This article explores the myth of genius versus work.  (Which makes me feel better because I'm no genius.)

If You Think You're a Genius, You're Crazy

Creativity is making unexpected connections--and that's also a symptom of certain kinds disordered thinking.

(Jung purportedly told James Joyce regarding his psychotic daughter, "Ah yes, Mr. Joyce, but you are diving and she is drowning.")

Revising Your Writing Again?  Blame the Modernists

Kurt Vonnegut is quoted (on the Internet so it may have been Mark Twain) as saying "Swoopers write a story quickly, higgly-piggledy, crinkum-crankum, any which way.  Then they go over it again painstakingly, fixing everything that is just plain awful or doesn't work.  Bashers go one sentence at a time, getting it exactly right before they go on to the next one.  When they're done they're done."

Looks like Shakespeare was a basher, but it may have been because of technology.

The First Sentence Is a Handshake

William Gibson writes, "Writing the first sentence of a novel, for me, is something like filing, from a blank of metal, the key for a lock that doesn’t yet exist, in a door that doesn’t yet exist, set into a wall … An impossible thing, yet I find it must be done, or at least approximately done, else nothing will follow."

Novelist Antonya Nelson's Ten Rules for Writers

Lists of rules are so tempting because they offer what seem like easy answers to difficult questions.  They've got a long history (see The Ten Commandments.)  This list is very sensible.

Don't Do Haunted Houses

The Nightmares Fear Factory in Canada claims to be the scariest haunted house attraction in the world. And after seeing these pictures... they might be right.

There is a hidden camera that snaps photos right at the scariest moment of the tour.

What's Cooking

I'm going to try a tarte tatin.  It's an apple pastry caramel thingy.  It says it's foolproof.  I can be a very clever fool.

Copyright © 2014 Maureen McHugh, All rights reserved.

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