25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer When George Plimpton asked Ernest Hemingway what the best training for an aspiring writer would be in a 1954 interview, Hem replied, “Let’s say that he should go out and hang himself because he finds that writing well is impossibly difficult. Then he should be cut down without mercy and forced by his own self to write as well as he can for the rest of his life. At least he will have the story of the hanging to commence with.” Today, writing well is more important than ever. Far from being the province of a select few as it was in Hemingway’s day, writing is a daily occupation for all of us — in email, on blogs, and through social media. It is also a primary means for documenting, communicating, and refining our ideas. So what can we do to improve our writing short of hanging ourselves? 1. Don’t just plan to write—write. 2. [The] Resistance knows that the longer we noodle around “getting ready,” the more time and opportunity we’ll have to sabotage ourselves. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
The Conversation: In-depth analysis, research, news and ideas from leading academics and researchers. The Illusion of Knowledge Isn't it funny how one sometimes uses words with the honest believe it's a well known term, but then comes to realize nobody understands it? Like, when I was a kid, the 'grandma-button' was a very well known concept to me. My grandma, being farsighted, used to accidentally tune the TV's brightness and color instead of the volume. I was thinking about this recently when Michael mentioned that the 'Illusion of Knowledge' I kept talking about and that even made it on our conference poster (it's no longer there), isn't anything he'd ever heard of. The Illusion of Knowledge refers to the following quotation by Daniel J. "The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge." ~ Daniel J. Illusion in the 21st Century In the 21st century we are faced with an incredible amount of information, and it is in many instances impossible to read and judge on all of the available information on a given topic.
How to Write Articles and Essays Quickly and Expertly - StumbleUpon Translations: Belorussian Introduction: Four Types of Discursive Writing From time to time people express amazement at how I can get so much done. I, of course, aware of the many hours I have idled away doing nothing, demur. Begin by writing - in your head, at least - your second paragraph (that would be the one you just read, above). But how do you write this paragraph? You have more options because there are four types of discursive writing. These are your choices of types of article or essay: Argument: convinces someone of something Explanation: tells why something happened instead of something else Definition: states what a word or concept means Description: identifies properties or qualities of things An argument is a collection of sentences (known formally as 'propositions') intended to convince the reader that something is he case. An explanation tells the reader why something is the case. A definition identifies the meaning of some word, phrase or concept. Organizing Your Writing
How to Publish an Ebook, Step by Step Want to publish a book? You can either kill a bunch of trees, or get with the 2010s and publish it as an ebook. If you haven’t noticed already, ebooks are no longer a niche market. As of June 2011, ebook reader adoption had reportedly hit 25 percent in the United States, with the market growing at a phenomenal 169 percent year over year. Today, most new releases are being published in ebook format. An ebook can provide your small business a real competitive advantage by giving you instant credibility and visibility in the marketplace. Unfortunately, the ebook sales market is fragmented. As a budding publisher, you will need to prepare your book for at least those three platforms. I have a couple of ebooks on the market, but for the past few years they’ve been available only for Kindle. Prepare for E-Publishing Before you even create your Amazon or B&N account, here’s how to get ready for your career as an e-publisher. Start with the book: First, write a book.
about Hey there. My name is Maria Popova and I’m a reader, writer, interestingness hunter-gatherer, and curious mind at large. I’ve previously written for Wired UK, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, among others, and am an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow. Maria Popova. Photograph by Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times Brain Pickings is my one-woman labor of love — a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why. Founded in 2006 as a weekly email that went out to seven friends and eventually brought online, the site was included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive in 2012. Here’s a little bit about my seven most important learnings from the journey so far. I think of it as LEGOs — if the bricks we have are of only one shape, size, and color, we can build things, but there’s a limit to how imaginative and interesting they will be. Please enjoy. Donating = Loving Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter.
The Book of Symbols: Carl Jung's Catalog of the Unconscious by Kirstin Butler Why Sarah Palin identifies with the grizzly bear, or what the unconscious knows but doesn’t reveal. A primary method for making sense of the world is by interpreting its symbols. We decode meaning through images and, often without realizing, are swayed by the power of their attendant associations. Beginning in the 1930s, Jung’s devotees started collecting mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic imagery under the auspices of The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS), an organization with institutes throughout the U.S. You can browse through ARAS via a list of common archetypes, or search by word, producing a cross-indexed result with thumbnail images and a timeline of where and when that idea appeared throughout history. Nonetheless, to access this treasure trove you still have to be a member of ARAS online, or take trip to one of its four physical locations. Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month.
8 Signs That You Were Meant to Be a Writer Are you meant to be a writer? Do you ever wonder if you were truly meant to be a writer? Deep down you sense that it might just be so. But then doubt creeps in, and you just aren’t sure. You look at your writing. You realize that you aren’t where you want to be. A great writer would be further along by now, right? Wrong. If you’re reading this, chances are you were meant to be a writer. Here are 8 signs that you were meant to be a word wizard. 1. You secretly dream about writing. And if you already write, you dream about doing something bigger, like writing a novel, or scoring that big freelancing client. You dream about more, bigger, better. Deep inside you know you can do it, but that pesky little voice stops you. 2. Yes, doubt is a sign that you were meant to be a writer. If you didn’t have anything to say, you wouldn’t even think about writing, but you do have something to say, and you know it. But doubt stops you. However, doubt is just a thought popping up. Why keep moving forward? 3. 4. 5. 6.
Online Creative Writing Courses Offered Free by Top Universities and Educational Websites Getting Educated for Free 1. Introductory Courses Introduction to Creative Writing - University of Utah Course Creative Writing 101 - Eight Lesson Suite101 Course Intro to Creative Writing - Eight Week Course from the Crafty Writer Creative Writing Workshop - Four Lesson Suite 101 Course Writing What You Know - Introductory Course from the UK's Open University 2. Introduction to Fiction - Undergraduate Course from MIT Start Writing Fiction - Introductory Course from the UK's Open University Introduction to Screenwriting - Steve Barnes' Nine Week UCLA Writing Course Approaching Prose Fiction - Intermediate Course from the UK's Open University Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy - Quick Launch or In-Depth Courses for Writers of All Ages 3. 4. 5. 6. Utilizing Your Creative Writing Knowledge Writers do not necessarily need a degree to be successful. You can be published online, in magazines, newspapers, trade publications and in books. Salary Potential Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Naomi Klein Published at The Intercept Now that it seems virtually certain that Donald Trump will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, and the climate movement is quite rightly mobilizing in the face of this latest dystopian lurch, it’s time to get real about something: Pretty much everything that is weak, disappointing, and inadequate about that deal is the result of U.S. lobbying since 2009. The fact that the agreement only commits governments to keeping warming below an increase of 2 degrees, rather than a much safer firm target of 1.5 degrees, was lobbied for and won by the United States. The fact that the agreement left it to individual nations to determine how much they were willing to do to reach that temperature target, allowing them to come to Paris with commitments that collectively put us on a disastrous course toward more than 3 degrees of warming, was lobbied for and won by the United States.
Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing We Americans are growing increasingly disenchanted with the institutions on which we depend. We can't trust them. They disappoint us. And the disenchantment we experience as recipients of services is often matched by the dissatisfaction of those who provide them. When we try to make things better, we generally reach for one of two tools. This blog is an attempt to answer this question. The term practical wisdom sounds like an oxymoron to modern ears. This is what took practical wisdom. Why "wisdom"? Doctors--and teachers attempting to teach and inspire, or lawyers attempting to provide proper counsel and serve justice--are not puzzling over a choice between the "right" thing and the "wrong" thing. Aristotle recognized that balancing acts like these beg for wisdom, and that abstract or ethereal wisdom would not do. We've been working together on practical wisdom, and teaching courses in it, for a decade.
10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly - Do Your Job Better By Michael C. Munger Most academics, including administrators, spend much of our time writing. In my nearly 30 years at universities, I have seen a lot of very talented people fail because they couldn't, or didn't, write. It starts in graduate school. The difference is not complicated. Rachel Toor and other writers on these pages have talked about how hard it is to write well, and of course that's true. 1. 2. 3. 4. Writers sit at their desks for hours, wrestling with ideas. The articles and books that will be read decades from now were written by men and women sitting at a desk and forcing themselves to translate profound ideas into words and then to let those words lead them to even more ideas. 5. Years pass, and they still have the same pat, 200-word answer to "What are you working on?" You, on the other hand, actually are working on something, and it keeps evolving. 6. "X and Y start with same assumptions but reach opposing conclusions. 7. 8. 9. 10. Michael C.