Fear motivates creatives to keep going, but too much is debilitating. Find a middle-ground.
At the start of his career, George Carlin followed the style of other top comedians like the Smothers Brothers and Johnny Carson.
After achieving modest success, he worried he was nothing more than a derivative entertainer instead of an artist. He knew the world already had a Johnny Carson and the Smothers Brothers.
Carlin exposed parts of his inner life that most people keep hidden. He introduced what many saw as offensive bits into his acts and his comedy album FM and AM, released in 1972.
Can meditation help you become more creative? And will this practice also improve your leadership skills? Dr. Megan Jones Bell says yes. She’s chief science officer at Headspace, the company behind the popular meditation app.
Founded in 2010 by Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson, Headspace claims over 60 million members across 190 countries. The app offers meditation courses in everything from creativity to better sleep, which can help creatives, leaders, and executives be more effective.
Those new to meditation struggle with finding time to practice. I was recently talking to a friend, and he complained he couldn’t squeeze a 10-minute…
Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy was ashamed of his masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Irish musician Bono said about their 1997 album Pop, “It is really the most expensive demo session in the history of music.”
Filmmaker David Fincher said about Alien 3,
“I had to work on it for two years, got fired off it three times, and I had to fight for every single thing. No one hated it more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me.”
Yet, the artist’s dissatisfaction is part of their creative process.
If artists felt satisfied, why…
Professional writers and authors don’t work alone.
They almost always rely on early readers, editors and proofreaders who turn their manuscripts into polished products.
But what if you’re a new writer or you haven’t worked with an editor before? When I was starting out writing online, I thought I could skip working with an editor.
It’s true, you can publish articles, stories and even books without one, but it’s not always a good idea.
Consider the last article or story you wrote.
You probably spent hours getting the messaging right, but how many more did it take to check for…
What genre should you write in? Thriller books sell a lot of copies. So does science fiction, romance and even erotic fiction books.
A few years ago, a book marketing expert told me self-published authors earn a good living writing in these genres.
I wanted to earn a good living from writing books too.
So I spent a couple of months trying to write a thriller book that I could sell. I got up early every morning to work on it. And I hated it.
The process felt a lot more like work than anything enjoyable, and I couldn’t get…
Teaching teenagers about money is a demanding job that doesn’t pay very well, if at all.
A while ago, I read some Irish research placing the cost of raising two children from 0 to 24 at half a million euro. I’ve got three kids, so you can imagine how I felt about my bank balance afterwards.
If you’re got teenagers and are anything like me, you’ve probably caught yourself giving them what they want because it’s the easier option.
They’ve got more free time than you do to come up with the right arguments or persuade the right parent.
Parenting is a lot of work.
I’ve got three kids, aged 18 months, nine, and fourteen years. I sometimes feel like I’m working at the coalface of homeschooling, cooking meals, managing playdates, and negotiating minor domestic disputes.
Our house is loud and all the more so now that we’re at home a lot more. It sometimes feels hard to avoid losing my patience and just wanting a break.
While reading one Sunday night, after they all went to bed, I came across this ancient zen proverb about the meditative nature of work:
‘Chop wood, carry water.’
Beginners, experts, and everyone…
Unless you’re a robot, procrastination is a normal part of your work life. It took me a while to learn this lesson after graduating. It was fine to waste days or even weeks while in college, but that’s a sure-fire way to lose a job in the real-world.
Almost all of us have delayed or said “I’ll do it tomorrow,” at some point. That said, procrastination is an indulgence you must learn to temper, particularly if you’re up against a big deadline or want to impress a new boss or convince a customer to buy a product from your business.
Before your next purchase, investment or business project, ask yourself which two of these three traits is most important: good, fast or cheap?
A purchase or investment can only possess two of three of these traits, at best. Although it’d be great to have all three, that’s a utopia. I learnt about this model for making more effective decisions and planning projects the hard way.
Several years ago, I wrote my first book. It was all about productivity for writers and I decided to self-publish it.
Every self-published book needs an editor and a good book cover. After editing, I’d…
I’m not the fastest runner in the world.
I’ve learnt, mostly the hard way, that it takes at least three months of hard training to build up enough physical endurance to run a marathon.
And even then, physical training will only take you so far.
I’ll never forget the year I almost quit the Dublin City marathon half-way through.
Despite months of hard training, I wanted to pull over and get a taxi home.
I would have too if someone from my running club hadn’t ran past at just the right moment. They began shouting my name,
“Hurry up Bryan.”