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The Rat Race and the Garret

I grew up very much aware of the phrase “the rat race,” which seemed primarily to have to do with men in suits endlessly shuffling by commuter train back and forth between Scarsdale and Manhattan. I intuitively understood what “the rat race” meant and why I didn’t...

Follow Your Creative ‘North Star’

I attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, a public high school specializing in math and science. One of our mandatory shop classes was telescope-making, an ironic idea for a New York school: as if you could see the night sky in Manhattan! We ground our own...

Handling Criticism the Right Way

An amazing number of creatives and would-be creatives are deflated, derailed, and defeated by the opinions of others. The negative opinion may be offered by a marketplace player like a literary agent or gallery owner, by a peer like a writer in your writing group, by...

How to Overcome Creative Fatigue

Fatigue is a real problem. Physical fatigue, mental fatigue, and emotional fatigue are plaguing just about everyone. This is especially true for creatives, who may work a full day job, have all sorts of other duties and responsibilities as well, and then are supposed...

Creativity as a Way of Life

Can you write a novel, paint a painting, or invent a new tech solution if you aren’t open to creative ideas at those times when you aren’t sitting down to write that novel, paint that painting, or invent that solution? Is creativity something that you turn on and off...

Creating in Your Eighties

You do not need to stop creating because you’ve gotten older. Yes, you may need to make changes: Matisse had to move from painting to cut-out collages because of arthritis; and, as a result, created some of his most memorable works. So, while you may need to make...

The Art of Catching Up with Yourself

It’s been a long time since we’ve had that experience of lazing around on a picnic blanket on a summer afternoon, bees buzzing, kids running around, and hot dogs grilling. Can you even remember such a moment? Nowadays we seem to be running and running and never...

Organizational Tips for the Ambitious

Organizational Tips for the Ambitious Let’s say that you’re a nonfiction writer intending to write a self-help book organized around seven principles. You will have your organizational challenges—every book presents organizational challenges. But now imagine that...

Getting Real with Deadlines

Maybe you got away with doing things at the last minute in college. You wrote that English essay at the last moment or crammed for that chemistry exam the night before the test and managed to pass. But if you intend to have a career in the arts and deal with the...

Intend, Imagine, Organize!

For thousands and thousands of years the thing we call “creativity” has been in evidence. We take that word to stand for everything from cave paintings to dreaming up bread to dreaming up round wheels to creating cosmology myths to turning reeds into flutes. That is...

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