Lydia Davis, an author of “very short stories” for more than 40 years, described her editing process in feature for The Atlantic. The image above contains the original handwritten text. She then made these edits: 1. The two dogs and two cats, as well as the mice, were part of my real situation, but I…Read More
So many good things in this one. Best bet is to watch the video. “When you make something, you wonder: Will it stay at the top? Will it speak to people? Will it lose its relevance? But you can’t worry about those things. You have to create things that are truthful to yourself.” “Every…Read More
Once in a while (thankfully not often), I look back at some of the posts and articles I wrote in the early days. What in the world was I thinking? Most of them are riddled with errors, typos, and sometimes just bad writing. For both The $100 Startup and my new book (more news on…Read More
The drugstore in my neighborhood has a deliberate policy of wasting every customer’s time. If you arrive to pick up a prescription, you’ll wait a minimum of 20 minutes, guaranteed. It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting a refill. It doesn’t matter if your doctor’s office has called in your prescription. It doesn’t matter if…Read More
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” This series poses questions from readers. You’re invited to answer! You can also send in a question for a future post. Today’s question comes from Maria in Italy. Ciao, Maria! One year ago I lost my job, and instead of looking for another I…Read More
I’m not usually a baseball fan, but I enjoyed reading about Tony Gwynn’s commitment to success. “They just feel like stuff is supposed to happen to them,” he said. “They’re not going to have to work for it. And that bugs me because I know how hard I had to work to get where I…Read More
There are layers and stages to our work. Chipping away at something day in and day out is a lot easier than relying on bouts of genius to spring forth at 3am. Better to be an overnight success that takes some time.Read More
You've been here before. The weeks and months have gone by, and now you find yourself at the point where something big is due. The deadline you've been ignoring is now staring you in the face.
Sup, the deadline says. Did you forget about me?
You didn't forget, of course. But you didn't entirely take it seriously either. It was hiding out in the background, and now the background has planted itself directly in front of your desk.Read More
Sometimes it’s hard to know if it’s all worth it. You’re out in the woodshed, slaving away on this thing you love, night and day. But does anyone else care?Will anyone else care? At times, you may be tempted to pack it in. You’d like to return to normal, to the way things were before…Read More
Over the weekend I heard a talk and short performance piece by Stephen Kellogg, an independent musician who was speaking at the annual TEDxConcordiaUPortland event. Stephen talked about the joy of work. From a young age, he always wanted to be a touring musician, with fans, albums, and concerts. He loves what he does and feels fortunate to have the chance to reach audiences with his music.Read More
There's an old story about a salesperson who was disappointed in losing an important sale.
He talked with the boss about why it didn't work out. "I guess," he said, "It just proves you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
"Maybe," said the boss, "But let me give you some advice: your job is not to make him drink. It's to make him thirsty."Read More
It's been nice to be home for another two week stretch. I ran Mount Tabor (pictured) several times, I did some overdue work on planning the year, and I began outlining a book ...Read More
To wake in the morning full of life and energy, awaiting the day with anticipation and purpose.
To step out into the world ready to accomplish a significant task.
To engage and initiate instead of merely responding. To take the active choice that you will make something happen.Read More
Lately I've felt that I'm doing well at the small things, but failing to plan for more involved work. It's not that the small things are inconsequential—or so I tell myself. If you also struggle with doing small things well but neglecting the bigger picture, it's time to take action. The only way to break the pattern is to force ourselves to look ahead and answer the question:
What, exactly, am I trying to build here?Read More