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Why I’ve Resisted My Annual Review for the First Time in 10 Years

I can trace whatever success I’ve had to instituting and diligently following the practice of completing an Annual Review. It’s helped me write books, travel to every country in the world, start various businesses, produce events for thousands of people, and so on. After feeling that my life wasn't well-aligned, I recently added more categories focused on wellness and relationships—that decision helped a lot too.

But for some reason, as this year’s review time rolled around, I felt some resistance to it. I didn’t look forward to it the way I always have in the past.

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“I Write To Create Something That Is Better than Myself”: Reading Karl Ove Knausgaard

Like a lot of people outside of Scandinavia, I discovered Karl Ove Knausgaard's epic, extended memoir series a few years after it was a huge bestseller in his native Norway.

So far in my reading, the six-volume, 3,600 page (!) series has covered the extremely intimate and granular experiences of childhood, burying his alcoholic father, leaving a marriage and entering a new relationship with a woman who suffers from bi-polar disorder, all in a kaleidoscope of words and paragraphs about what could be termed the joy and trauma of ordinary life.

Yep, I'm a fan.

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How A Wilderness Adventurer Wrote His Way To A Location-Independent Lifestyle

Kevin Casey has wanted to explore the most remote parts of the world ever since he was a little kid watching nature documentaries. Now, as a location-independent freelance writer - that went from $0/month to $7000/month in six months - he’s able to fully fund his adventurous, nomadic lifestyle.

Since I was a boy living in California, I’ve wanted to explore the world's wildest and most isolated rivers. Now based out of Brisbane, Australia, I live that dream and my one-man copywriting business has been paying for all my overseas adventures since 2013!

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How to Start a Blog or Any Website for Less Than $5

Link: Start a Blog for $5/Month

Since starting The Art of Non-Conformity eight years ago, I’ve been writing and posting regularly on the blog. A lot of things have changed since those early days, especially the way that people communicate on different networks, but my love of the format remains.

When you write a blog, you can publish immediate, unfiltered information to the world at large. There are no gatekeepers or censors. You can write about whatever you want, and you're free to expand your domain as you see fit. If you want to publish video or audio, you can do that on your blog too—but you don’t have to.

Starting a blog doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, you can do it for free over at Wordpress.com. Free is fine for a lot of people and it might be fine for you, but many of us will find that it’s better to invest a small amount of money and get more benefits and features.

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Dream Jobs Don’t Always Have Glamorous Beginnings

Rosemary3 Rosemary Behan has crafted a career in journalism that allows her to travel the world. In this profile, she shares how she got started—and how you can still break into the changing world of travel writing.

People often ask me how I became a travel journalist, and the honest answer is, by accident. I started at the Daily Telegraph, reading and replying to reader letters (most of them complaints about travel companies and holidays gone wrong), and my first assignment was to write about London’s worst hotels. Not a glamorous beginning, but it eventually led to a job as travel news editor for the paper.

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A New Journey Begins: “Born for This” Is Now Available!

Link: BornforThisBook.com

More than eight years ago (whoa) I started writing this blog, The Art of Non-Conformity. I wanted to chronicle my adventures around the world and support other people with big dreams.

But the journey actually begin more than ten years before that, when I first started working for myself. I wasn’t a good employee, having been fired from just about every job that I didn’t walk away from after a few weeks. My motivations at the time weren’t very high-level: I simply wanted to earn money to support my lifestyle.

As the years went by, I learned more about entrepreneurship as a way to change the world. I spent a few years living on a hospital ship deployed to West Africa. I started a quest to visit every country on the planet. And as I wrote, and then as I began hosting events and supporting offline communities, I gradually grew into the work I felt born to do. So I wrote a book about how you can find or create the same for yourself.

Born for This, just released today and available wherever books are sold, provides the answer.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Hack the job of your dreams within a company or organization by making it work for you
  • Find your ideal work and your ideal working conditions
  • Create plans that will allow you to take smarter career risks and “beat the house” every time
  • Start a profitable “side hustle” and earn extra cash on top of your primary stream of income
  • Escape the prison of working for someone else and build a mini-empire as an entrepreneur
  • Become a rock star at any creative endeavor by creating a loyal base of fans and followers

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The New, New Economy: How the World of Online Publishing Is Changing, and Why You Should Care

4383221264_0efdfb700c_z For the past eight years I’ve made a good living through online publishing. I’ve shared much of the journey along the way, but I first documented the overall process in a manifesto, 279 Days to Overnight Success.

This manifesto went on to have a life of its own, thanks to the generous sharing of readers. Every single day—seven years later!—I hear from people who have found it online and enjoyed it.

And guess what? I think at least some of the lessons I taught so fervently back then are wrong.

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One Year of Taking Adderall to Help with Writing & Focus

Last year I shared the story of why I got a prescription for Adderall, the brand name of the psychostimulant drug that can help you control your attention and focus. Adderall is a controlled substance in the U.S. and most other western countries. It’s known for being abused by college students—you know, when you really need to study—but it’s also one of the most frequently prescribed treatments for both children and adults with ADHD.

I was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid (whoa, look at that spaceship!) and was medicated for a while with Ritalin and other drugs, but until last year at the old age of 36, I hadn’t taken anything since I was 12 or so.

The short version of why I decided to alter my stance on ADHD meds was that things weren’t working well. I had been late on my last book manuscript, and was beginning a new one that I wanted to complete on time. I had a long list of things I wanted to do (and believed in), but it had become more and more difficult to settle down and knock things off the list.

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What Remains in the Quest for Literary Permanence


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From Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher:

I am always taken aback when students confide in me that beneath their desire to write lies a quest for permanence. It’s odd but touching, I think, that even during this disposable age, while consigning great mountains of refuse to landfills and to atolls of plastic in the Pacific, these young would-be novelists and poets believe that art is eternal. Au contraire: we are in the business of ephemera, the era of floating islands of trash, and most of the things we feel deeply and inscribe on the page will disappear.

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“I’m not running away, I’m running toward”: On the Road with Luke Armstrong

When we talked to Luke, he told us, “At the age of sixteen I wrote in my journal: 'Tonight, when I was driving home, I had the desire to point The Bronco in one direction and just keep going and going and going.'”

Many travelers will relate to his stories.


Luke-Armstrong
After I ditched my return ticket in Chile and took out a student loan to finance hitchhiking from South America to Alaska, people said, “You’re crazy!” I replied, “So was Columbus!” They insisted, “This is so financially unsound!” I cried, “So were The Pyramids!”

I joke sometimes that eight years ago I went to South America and I never came back. Really, it means I performed some paperwork magic to graduate early and created a path that was there for me to take or not.

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Three Things I Know Are True: Writing Books


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I’ve been attempting to find “true north” in a lot of things lately. This new series explores what I believe in different areas of work and life. Your answers may differ; the point is to find what’s true for you.

Today’s topic is writing books. Here are three things I know are true.

1. The basic process is easier than most people think.

As I’ve explained before, it’s not that hard to write a book. A book is composed of a number of chapters and words. If you break down the process in a logical manner, you can see approximately how many words are required on a daily or weekly basis to achieve the goal in whatever time period you set.

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Writing a Three-Line Poem Every Day for a Year: Yvonne Whitelaw’s Quest

As I wrote in The Happiness of Pursuit, a quest need not be an athletic struggle or travel adventure. I loved this story of how this former medical resident wrote a haiku every day for a year.

Yvonne-Whitelaw
I'm Yvonne Whitelaw. I was born in Britain, but raised in Nigeria and the United States. I’m a stay at home mom and former physician. I decided to tweet a haiku a day for 365 days, even though I barely knew what a haiku was and had never actually written one.

Interestingly, the practice of daily haiku writing has helped my ADD. Haikus have trained me to focus and express myself succinctly.

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There’s Always Time to Write a Book


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Some inspiring insight from Laura Vanderkam:

"I have never believed that book writing needs to be all-consuming. It wasn’t for Toni Morrison writing The Bluest Eye at night after her kids went to bed and let’s face it, we’re not likely to produce anything like The Bluest Eye no matter how much time we spend writing. Books are projects like any other.

Incidentally, you can make time for the rest of your life too. I’m always amused by the lines in book acknowledgements in which authors (generally, male authors) thank their families for putting up with all their missed dinners. Not only am I not missing dinner, I’m generally cooking it."

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