Productivity

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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Createspace’s Cover Generator is Totally Broken

According to Createspace’s submission requirements, To calculate the spine width of your book, White paper: multiply page count by 0.002252 Cream paper: multiply page count by 0.0025 So, for the 230 page cream book I’m working on, my calculator says the spine width should be 0.575″. That’s also what Createspace is telling the author, as it rejects the cover I …

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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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To Audiobook or Not to Audiobook? Let the numbers decide.

I’ve been semi-curious about audiobooks for some time. Do people really listen to them? Will they help your print and ebook sales? Will you make any extra money? But I’ve been too busy to give them much attention. Recently however, Matt Stone (of archangel ink) offered to help me out and make one for Book Marketing is Dead. It took …

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Smart drugs and Creativity (the Missing Link in Human Genius)

I’m writing a book about creativity and drugs. It isn’t finished, but given a popular and title-loaded article I’ve seen circulating this week (“Will smart drugs really make us smarter, or just ruin lives”) I thought I’d share my basic introduction to the topic. My book is called “The Creative Brain on Drugs: Smart pills, nootropics and other mental stimulants …

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How To “Write” a Book with Less Effort, No Writer’s Block and Faster Results – without typing it!

This is a guest post from my friend Sean, who’s an expert on writing books by dictation. I asked him to send me some more information, since using dictation to write books is potentially much faster and may help avoid writer’s block. Simply put, Tonguenastics™ harnesses the power of your tongue and the spoken word instead of traditional typing to …

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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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How to learn Mandarin Chinese (or any language) super-fast with language hacking.

I’ve studied Spanish, German and Chinese in both school and immersion environments; in both classroom settings and one on one tutoring. I’ve also been an English teacher to ESL students in several countries. Some things I’ve learned about language acquisition: You have to make it a primarily goal, not a hobby. An hour or two a week is not enough, …

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