Forget what happens next

There’s something powerful about letting go of all expectations; focusing on the thing that’s right in front of you, and taking the closest next possible step.  When you’re actually doing what you’re supposed to be doing, you need to shift your brain into a state that can let that happen. Success or failure is probably […]

Kirby and the power of polish

In 1991, Japanese game company HAL Laboratory Inc. was 1.5 billion yen in debt and had to bet its future on one game. It was called Tinkle Popo, featuring a rotund protagonist named Popopo. HAL Laboratory had planned to publish Tinkle Popo independently, and sold 26,000 pre-ordered copies.  Nintendo—a HAL Laboratory client and investor—intervened; game […]

Finding a way, with minutes a day

These days, it feels easy to get carried away. Energy from a jolt of inspiration—or constant jolts from social media—build an idea up quickly. The problem with these grand aspirations is when its size gets in the way; when you feel like you don’t have enough time to do something, you put it off into […]

Anna Wintour on audiences

The relationship between creator and audience is one of leading and following. If you’re a creator, you may find that you’re best off making things that you wanted to see yourself; that your audience will follow you because they want the same thing.  For me, I’m glad I caved into my instinct and found the […]

Anna Wintour on developing taste

Anna Wintour says (in Masterclass, which I found via Anna: The Biography by Amy Odell): ​​Developing a creative eye or developing taste, I think that’s something that you have within you from a very early age but it is also something that you can develop through exposure to culture, to the arts, through reading, visiting […]

Write the book you want to live

On either fence of, “Write what you know,” I tend to lean towards writing about what I don’t know; “Write What Obsesses You,” as Meg Wolitzer describes it.  A year after publishing Creative Doing, and a few years after the initial manuscript, I still pick it up and enjoy flipping through it. Although there are […]

Cut it in half

A constraint is the best way to start making creative decisions. One prompt I’d recently come across, from observing feedback on various drafts, is simply to cut the word count in half. How can I summarize? Would there be a good rephrasing that can keep the original intent? If not, what elements will I keep? […]

A little flame of talent

At Granta, Kent Haruf writes: When I finished that novel I wrote John Irving to ask if he would connect me with his agent, and he said he would. He said he had sent fifty writers to his agent and he hadn’t taken any of them, but maybe he’d take me. And he did: I […]

Results orientation

Several months ago, the Nintendo Switch became the fastest console to sell 120 million units, and the third best-selling console of all time after the PS2 (158 million) and the Nintendo DS (154 million).  Nintendo has also sold over 100 million of its Wii consoles, many millions more than the competitor’s much more polished and […]