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Archives for Creativity

Anxiety

Gift-Giving OCD

It’s the thought that counts.

Here is the gift-giving credo that has given a pass to all manner of disappointing gifts, from “what were they thinking?” garments to “oh good, something to dust” tsotskes.

Our smiles might freeze on our faces as we rip the wrapping from a package, but whatever is within, we think, “It’s the thought that counts,” because that’s the nice thing to do when someone is nice enough to give us a...
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Anxiety

You’re An Earworm Away From Happiness

Don't get trouble in your mind.

“Don’t get trouble in your mind” is the cheery refrain of a bluegrass chestnut, performed in the video below by the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

I’d never heard the song until a friend posted this video on Facebook the other day, and it just hit me in a sweet spot. Since then, it’s been an earworm.

But unlike most earworms, this one could prove useful.
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Communication

Three Ways To Process Criticism

How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.― Benjamin Disraeli

How are you at taking criticism?

I’ve gotten pretty good at it. If you’re going to put yourself in the public eye, you have to take your lumps.

I usually let rotten tomatoes land where they will. Readers often have unpleasant things to say to those of us with the audacity to put our thoughts in print. I’ve been called names, been accused...
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Creativity

Pithy Quotes Smackdown: God vs. The Devil

God is in the details.

The devil is in the details.

"So which is it?" a friend asked, peevishness implied in her email.

Good question.

I'm not going to try and trace the origins of these quotes. The former is usually attributed to architect Mies van der Rohe, but some people claim it was around long before he got around to it. "The devil is in the details" may or may not have been a spinoff from...
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Creativity

Love Can’t Buy You Money

Do what you love and the money will follow.

This one annoys me.

It sounds so simple, so skipping through the daisies with dollar signs dancing around you like butterflies. It sounds like magical thinking to me.

Here’s another way to look at it: Do what you love for money and it might become just another job.

Easy for me to say, maybe. I write for a living and love what I do. But lemme tell you, dollar...
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Creativity

The Greatness of Good Enough (Part II)

My good enough is great.

This very excellent quote comes from the friend mentioned in my last post, who wondered why she shouldn’t strive for perfection. She and a friend of hers came up with the above saying, which she posted over her desk.

This friend struggles with procrastination, a common symptom of perfectionism. And so she is having to learn to let go of her fear of falling short...
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General

Why Good Beats Perfect

The best is the enemy of the good—Voltaire(ish)

This aphorism, translated from French, is attributed to Voltaire who actually attributed it to “A wise Italian” in a long satirical poem about a beautiful and pampered woman who takes a lover because she's bored. It’s also been translated as “Perfect is the enemy of the good.”

A friend finds this quote mildly offensive because it seems to endorse mediocrity.

I see her point. “Good” doesn’t exactly sound like...
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General

Tell Your Stories — Or Not

You own everything that happened to you. – Anne Lamott

Lamott first said this in her fabulous book about the writer's life, Bird by Bird. She then elaborated in a tweet, which read, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better.” 

Haha. And cool. As a writer, I love this, even though it’s easier said than done....
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Creativity

Be Who You Are Not

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. -- Denis Waitley

This one twangs me in all the right ways.

One of the hurdles to becoming a writer is identifying yourself as a writer.

“I’m a writer.”

It sounds so pretentious.

But until you can identify yourself as a writer, you’re just a hobbyist. A dabbler. A person with a day job who writes for fun. (Or frustration. Or both....
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General

Happiness Is Dull

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. – Leo Tolstoy

What do you think…true or false?

Believe me, I am not out to dis Tolstoy. Anna Karenina is one of my all-time favorite books and I reread it every few years.

But this famous quote…I don’t know. I’m not sure I buy it. To say that all happy families are alike is to say that all families are...
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