If your mood is low – Nicholas Bate

He has something for every occasion. Here, Nicholas Bate has the cure for those occasional, but inevitable, low moments: 2. A walk would be good. Long. Rain or shine. And your dog would love it to. 4. Escape into a novel. Read the rest, here.

A contract with Me Inc. #writing

Two posts this week that reflect the need for a professional approach to your writing, or to any other independent business. The ever-inspirational Steven Pressfield posted the third in his series on the Professional Mindset: “Every Monday morning I have a meeting with myself. I go over everything I’ve got to do in the coming week. […]

Believe …

Steve Layman has a great quote from Daniel Kahneman: “A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.” I’m hoping this is from Thinking,Fast and Slow which is next up on my Must Read Shelf. […]

Politics and science – @mattwridley

A passionate call from Matt Ridley in Monday’s Times: ” It is time for the many brilliant scientists who are discovering great insights into quasars and quarks, Alzheimer’s and allergies, into neurons, fossils, telomeres and ice ages, to “take a public stand and be counted” against the politicisation of some science within their own ranks.” […]

Pity, Fear, Catharsis – the essence of storytelling #writing

It’s strange and not a little sobering to appreciate just how much Aristotle got right, 2,500 years ago. The essence of storytelling, he tells us, is three simple but essential concepts: Pity – (we might say empathy) first of all, we must make the audience feel for and care about the central character Fear – […]

The neuroscience of narrative – Paul J Zak #writing

Here are some great resources on the neurochemical effect of storytelling. Paul Zak’s lab was responsible for identifying the importance of oxytocin in generating trust (as here). When I started to look at that, I found this much more interesting (for me) research on the generation of oxytocin during engaging narrative, and its related impact […]

Beware the simplifier

The media is currently obsessed by Donald Trump’s travel ban and it seems that, without exception, every outlet is describing the target as seven “mostly Muslim” countries. Social and celebrity media has quickly elided that to “Muslims”. Those countries are, of course, mostly Muslim: between 90.0 and 99.7% of their populations according to Pew Research quoted on […]

The artist as entrepreneur #writing

Just an important reminder from Steven Pressfield: “Step One, it seems to me, is to recognize that all of us–writers, artists, filmmakers, actors, musicians–are entrepreneurs. We don’t work for the Man. We work for ourselves. These are two completely different modes of operating in the world and of thinking about ourselves. … No one guarantees […]

Evidence in a post-truth world? #contentmarketing

Are proof-points passé in a post-truth world? On the contrary, they are more important than ever. In a world of Putin, Trump and the Brexit campaign, it’s tempting to think that evidence simply doesn’t matter anymore. Can’t you just say anything you like, as long as you repeat it loudly and persistently? Here are two […]

Rock and roll rhetoric: Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)

“Come up and see me, make me smile Or do what you want, run on wild. … There’s nothing left, all gone and run away” Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) (Steve Harley), Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel Steve Harley is hugely under-rated as a songwriter. Also as a performer: his sneering snarl […]

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