Turns out an insurrection is a great motivator. After burning out on news about the attempt to disrupt the electoral vote count on January 6, I began using almost all of my free time to read books—specifically, books that could help me understand the vulnerability of America’s institutions.
One of those books provided me with a line that I’ve repeated dozens of times to other people, to myself, to my five-year-old daughter when she looks particularly irritated:
The answers you’re looking for in books.
If you’ve never written a book before, you fall into one of two groups: You either will write a book someday, or you could write a book someday.
Even if you have no plans to write a book, you should figure out what your book would be. Because in some ways, it’s the central question of your life. What’s my purpose? What do I have to give? What’s my value? What am I worth? The answer is always singular, and it’s always revealing.
Everyone has a book in them. The person in your professional life you’re most happy to see…
When my agent and I were meeting with publishers, pitching them my book, Works Well With Others, the working title was The Impostor’s Protocol.
It sounds like a lesser John le Carre novel, I know. But in my head, that was my book. I felt like something of an impostor in my career (“Impostor”!), and I loved coming up with certain rules and guidelines for how to overcome that feeling at work (“Protocol”!).
But every editor I met with asked some version of, “Are you open to changing the title?” A couple of days after I signed the contract with…
If sobriety is something you’re interested in exploring as you head into the new year (and, maybe more importantly, out of the old one), Nina Renata Aron’s list of books, podcasts, TV episodes, and more will equip you with a lot of motivation. Not motivation to quit, necessarily, but motivation to stay interested in quitting.
Because this collection is shame-free.
As Aron writes: “Decoupling the concept of sobriety from the still-stigmatized disease of alcoholism has granted people greater freedom to experiment with self-restraint without feeling a sense of shame or failure if they do decide to do that tequila shot…
The prolific Drew Magary has written a lot of stories about a lot of subjects for Forge, Medium’s self-improvement publication, but the subject he’s written about the most? Writing itself. The most popular of those stories is about a lot.
As he writes in “How to Write 10,000 Words a Week,” the key to productivity as a writer is to think of writing as “a matter of sketching and building and arranging and fixing what is in your brain.”
Don’t think of it as art. Think of it as a process.
Drew’s process involves four steps.
“Too many writers have…
It’s hard to know when the end of the pandemic will finally come. What does “end” really mean, anyway? Is it when you’re vaccinated? Is it when most of the people in your community are?
What if the end of the pandemic has nothing to do with the vaccine at all? What if it’s not the vaccine that will ultimately deliver us from the pandemic, but our own psyches?
Bestselling author Seth Godin has been writing frequently about creativity on Medium the past few weeks. This week he wrote about the importance of simply showing up. For Godin, creativity isn’t as much inspiration as it is application: arriving on time and doing the work. In a word: practice.
“When we commit to a practice, we don’t have to wonder if we’re in the mood, if it’s the right moment, if we have a headache or momentum or the muse by our side. We already made those decisions.”
It was key to his own success, he says: “Twenty years ago…
Do you know how many posts you’ve put on Instagram? Your number of Medium followers? The number of steps you’ve taken today? Yesterday? Last Monday? Our lives are increasingly quantifiable. And the numbers can be motivating — but they can obscure the reasons why we work out, read Medium, take a walk.
In “Stop Keeping Score,” published on Forge, Paul Ollinger writes about how he’s used his Peloton rankings to compare himself to other riders. He figured out ways to manipulate his workouts to go higher and higher on the board. Going higher had replaced getting healthy as a goal…
I’ve been texting with three friends about politics since the 2020 presidential election season began back in, what was it? 1999? 2007? And I’m not sure a day has gone by without us texting about poll numbers or election anxiety.
A politics thread allows you a certain level of vulnerability and candor that Facebook doesn’t (or shouldn’t at least), yet it’s more useful and uplifting than, like, saying to your dog, “I’m cautiously optimistic about indies in Sumter County!”
It’s been the single most important source of information for me about how the election is going and about how my…
For all the ways that G Drive has made our lives run better, it makes getting rid of those memories kind of complicated. The most intuitive way to delete messages in Gmail is scrolling and clicking. Forever.
Turns out you need a two-part system: Let an app clear out most of the junk. Then employ search-and-destroy strategies to find groups of emails to delete all at once. Her tips are surprising but easy and effective.