If you want to do interesting work, a great starting point is to work on things you find interesting. Instead of trying to optimize for what you think others are likely to find interesting — chasing the market is a Sisyphean task — just keep digging deeper into what you find interesting.
That way, making your work interesting to others is simply a matter of sharing your enthusiasm. I took a geology class my freshman year of college. It’s easy to imagine how boring a class about rocks could be. But my professor loved rocks. She had contributed to the…
Viktor Frankl on success:
Don’t aim at success — the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you…
The world is brimming with magic.
Summon it by bringing your attention to bear, by following the path into being.
The keener your sense of presence, the more miraculous the universe reveals itself to be.
Insurrection. Global pandemic. Cascading climate crises. Never-ending Zooms. We seem to be living through the dystopia Hollywood has always dreamed of, sans a satisfying narrative arc.
In times like these, nihilism beckons. Just give up, history seems to be saying. There’s nothing you can do. The best you can hope for is to protect your own as you watch the world burn.
Some novelists begin a new story by identifying a central theme, and then let the characters, plot, setting, tone, pace, and all the rest unspool from there. That’s never worked for me. Instead, theme is usually…
Be bold. Many eschew grand ambitions for fear of falling short, so the higher you aim, the thinner the competition. Plus, because nothing is truly easy, you might as well attempt something truly hard. Who knows? You might even succeed, surprising everyone, yourself most of all.
Because so few people are willing to risk boldness, being bold makes you a leader by default. Some will see their feelings articulated in your vision and join up. Others will see their fears reflected in your vision and cry foul. …
Every month, I send a newsletter recommending books, fiction and nonfiction, that crackle and fizz with big ideas, entertain with wild abandon, challenge assumptions, and find meaning in a changing world. Reading is an integral part of my creative process and I often find gems in unlikely places.
Every year, I go back through and select my absolute favorites. Without further ado, here are the twelve best books I read in 2020:
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is a novel as exquisitely balanced as the temperament of the Russian aristocrat it follows through his decades of house arrest…
The girl entered the Dark Forest.
Leaves whispered. Shadows swirled. Bright eyes gleamed. Mud sucked at her boots. She evaded the bandits, won over the fairies, escaped the quicksand, emasculated the creepy lumberjack, survived the poison thorns, defeated the monsters, fed wild carrots to the unicorn, slipped away from the strangling vines, and outsmarted the witch.
The woman emerged from the Dark Forest.
She dropped her pack, salved her blisters, ate an apple with a hunk of cheese and a chocolate bar, drank from the brook, and sighed.
Ahead was the Open Steppe, the Rushing River, the Endless Desert, the…
Novelist: Veil, Breach, Borderless, Bandwidth, Neon Fever Dream, Cumulus, Exit Strategy, Power Play, and Version 1.0.