From 2015 · There are plenty of folks happy to tell you how to write better, just as any doctor will tell you to “eat right and exercise.” But changing your writing (or eating) habits only happens when you understand why you do what you do. I can help you with that. That proposal or email you wrote must now compete for … Continue reading 10 top writing tips and the psychology behind them →
2 min read · Jul 16th · If you’re caught in a cycle of overthinking and stress, the simple act of writing can be a powerful tool.
The idea is to keep a regular journal. When you have a bad experience in your personal or professional life, write about it a few times. When you write about it, describe the event in detail. Write about how it made you feel. Write about what you might do about it in the future. Devote 20-30 minutes to writing about events that really bother you.
the bad things that happen to you create little tears in the fabric of your life story. By writing about those events several times, you craft a story that knits the bad things into the narrative of your life. The more that these events become coherent to you, the less likely that they will be a source of later rumination.
Stress decreases the amount of information you can hold in mind
~15 min read · 2019-10-06 · Learning to write is learning to think, because writing is thinking. They are two peas in a powerful pod. This article goes over my writing process, focused on minimizing the activation energy to get…
Self-doubt can be an ally. This is because it serves as an indicator of aspiration. It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire, desire to do it.
Because at its core, writing is simple: it’s a method of sharing your thoughts.
In attempting to formulate a written piece, you are going through the exercise of transforming vague ideas into clarified concepts externally, but also internally.
20+ min read · 2020-02-04 · I long ago stopped reading books on note-taking. They were always too vague and boring, full of platitudes that had little to do with the world outside academia. I especially avoided “how-to” style…
3 min read · Sep 3rd · The Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell author on an underrated work by CS Lewis and the dangers of giving Richard Osman’s novels as a gift
he book that changed my lifeAll sorts of books throughout my life have nudged me this way and that – like winds in a sail, I suppose. I hope they continue to do so. From Charles Palliser’s The Quincunx I learned that you didn’t have to write a 21st-century novel if you didn’t want to; you could write a 19th-century one. From Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman I learned to be courageous in writing. This question also works the other way round: my life keeps changing books. Jane Austen’s Emma is quite different today from when I read it first as a teenager.
The book I wish I’d writtenThe Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton. It’s an extraordinary novel, funny and clever. It is subtitled A Nightmare. But it’s an odd sort of nightmare – one where terror keeps dissolving into cheerfulness (which is the opposite way round from most nightmares, and from a lot of contemporary fiction). Chesterton describes scenes and objects and colours with an almost heraldic vividness – or, looked at another way, as if they were pages in a modern graphic novel. He makes London feel like a fairytale, which to him I think it was. I have read The Man Who Was Thursday many, many times, but I still don’t understand it. I’ll keep going.
The book that had the greatest influence on my writingProbably CS Lewis’s Narnia series. Or possibly Ursula K Le Guin’s Earthsea (the original trilogy). In the end it is impossible to get this down to a single book: apart from anything else, I suspect that the strongest influences are probably not conscious. After I had finished writing Piranesi I reread Jorge Luis Borges’s short story “The House of Asterion”, which I hadn’t read since my 20s and which contains a labyrinth. I thought that there would be a connection between them, but I was stunned to find all these details in the Borges story which I’d no memory of but which had echoes in Piranesi.
1 min read · Sep 15th · Copywriting turns words into action. But which words? And which action? Often, copywriters take a strategy for granted. They don’t take the time to think about what this sentence or that para…
6 min read · Sep 6th · In the process of writing any book, many ideas and stories fall by the wayside. Not because they aren’t insightful or emotive but because the thesis veers from its original course. A favoured tale may…
The whole group acted like a single unit, a machine to produce logarithmic tables. It was a kind of “artificial intelligence”, a designed and constructed system that could process information usefully.
At its essence, it was an artificial machine that accelerates the transformation of information and allows us to apply that transformed information more productively.
These types of systems need some form of reductionism and design on the part of the builder.
Sep 22nd · Hannah Giorgis is a staff writer at The Atlantic. Her latest feature is "Most Hollywood Writers’ Rooms Look Nothing Like America.” ”In general, when we talk about representation, we talk about what we…