Friday Five: Jan. 27 Edition

3 Most Important Tasks (MIT)

5 manifestos for the creative life

Billy Wilder: 10 Screenwriting Tips

12 fitness tips that will boost your social media efforts

Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking | Psychology Today

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Thought for the Day: Motivation

A slew of quotations about motivation:

“The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it.” John C Maxwell

“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” Pearl S Buck

“Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write.” Elie Wiesel

Friday Five: Jan. 20 Edition

It’s Friday. And it’s time for another installment of the Friday Five.
  1. Seven step process to achieving your goals from Harvard Business Review: Basic steps to make your 2012 resolutions come to fruition.
  2. The basics of the W plot by Kathleen Wall: Very helpful post that de-mystifies the W plot.
  3. Do or do not: A note on trying by Shelli Johnson: Love that my favorite Yoda quotation is used. In the epic battle between “trying to do something” and “doing something”, doing always wins.
  4. Shit Girls Say: An Tumblr full of awesomeness. Quotations galore, all by women and for everyone.
  5. The pure joy of writing: “In the past year and half or so, I have gone through a change as a writer – a huge one. I like to picture my self as a caterpillar previously – not unlike the loopy one in Alice in Wonderland – who underwent a transformation into a writing butterfly.”

Thought for the Day: Cluttered Office Space

If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

– Albert Einstein

I cleaned up my office yesterday. I tossed old files into the recycling bin. I swept. I dusted. I wiped all the surfaces down. I stacked my books in haphazard piles. When it was all done, I surveyed the clean space and thought, “This is nice for now.”

Clutter defines my work space and my brain. My ideas are a jumbled pile of functioning Christmas lights: ideas are interlinked but doing their own thing, blinking their own colors. My desk gets jumbled as the semester and life progresses.

Mess for me isn’t a bad thing. It’s how my mind works. This portion of this New York Times article sums up my life:

Mess is complete, in that it embraces all sorts of random elements. Mess tells a story: you can learn a lot about people from their detritus, whereas neat — well, neat is a closed book. Neat has no narrative and no personality (as any cover of Real Simple magazine will demonstrate). Mess is also natural, as Mr. Freedman and Mr. Abrahamson point out, and a real time-saver. “It takes extra effort to neaten up a system,” they write. “Things don’t generally neaten themselves.”

So make a mess of your story, your office, your work space. You might learn something.

Thought for the Day: Amateur vs. Professional

“There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well” ― Agatha Christie

Becoming a professional in any career means that you have put in your dues. You have interned, you have studied and passed tests, you have acquired the knowledge of the field, you have put in the time it takes to move out of the novice phase. Same goes with writing. It’s easy to write when it is fun, when you’re inspired, when the right music is on. The mark of a true professional is the dedication to putting words on the page each day in the same mindset as the U.S. Postal Service. You do it regardless of the weather or conditions. You just do it.

So what are you: the amateur or the professional?