Creativity

The Grit Test: a simple quiz to see whether you’ll make it as a creative professional

Psychologist Angela Duckworth is making news by claiming “Grit” is as important to success as background, education or IQ. The funny thing about Grit is that it’s a personality trait, and not likely to be something you just picked up along the way. Grit is something you’re born with. If you need to take a “Grit Test” because you’re unsure …

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Do you want to be exceptional, and dead? (Drugs, creativity, manic energy and suicide)

I had no idea what Black Box was about when I started watching, but was soon delighted with it – a brain scientist with psychological issues recounts her last near death manic episode to her psychologist. While I’m writing about drugs and creativity, she makes the opposite point – sometimes we normalize our episodes with drugs. Needing to revamp her …

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Does content matter anymore? Reflections on art and competition

When I was younger and doing gallery exhibitions, I never wanted to explain my art. I don’t want to sully the viewer experience by telling them what it meant to me. “What does it mean to you?” I asked. The problem with that is, viewers don’t know whether or not something is important unless you tell them what it means. …

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Smart drugs for writers (unlock your creative genius, boost your word count and write faster NOW)

I started this post a few years ago when I was working on a book project called “The Creative Brain on Drugs.” I’ve left the original content down below – but more recently I’ve been focused on writing faster and boosting word count: when I searched for “best smart drugs for writers” Google actually showed me this post… so I’m …

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How to make a “sell-sheet” for your book (with free templates!)

I’ll admit I’ve never used a sell sheet for book promotion. Instead, I like to get wicked awesome postcards printed on high quality stock. These I can hand out, put up or leave around indiscriminately. In fact after browsing through Google for sell sheet design examples, I’m pretty convinced they’re worthless. Your book cover is your sell sheet You should …

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Only Lovers Left Alive vs. The Vampire Academy (Reflections on High and Low Art, Life and Death, and Creative Production)

I underestimated vampires. I thought the trend was mostly dying down. I thought we, as an international culture, had decided to focus more on zombies, post-apocalyptic survivors, and dystopian, authoritarian governments. I thought Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows or Adam Sandler’s Animated Vampire Film Hotel Transylvania signified that the creative juices, the pathos and the emotional thrills of the vampire genre …

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Picasso was a talentless hack – and you can be too! (absinthe, art and creative genius)

I’ve known for some time that Picasso was a self-aggrandizing asshole of little talent (capable of massive production, but not hard to do with no quality standards). From non-art affectionados Picasso’s cubist paintings or simple line sketches may elicit comments such as “any kid could have drawn that.” A superficial introduction to art history will often focus on a handful …

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The 5 best marijuana strains for creativity and productivity

In the time of the Caesars it was not uncommon to smoke the female hemp flowers (marijuana) to “incite to hilarity and joy.” Pipes that had smoked opium and hashish were found in Shakespeare’s family home. When Wordsworth wrote “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” he probably had his experiences with laughing gas in mind (something I got to …

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