Vacations for writers — why they improve your creativity

First off, let’s make it clear: writers do not need any vacations. After all, theirs is a dream job. They get to do what they love precisely when they prefer to. And if this isn’t the definition of a dream job, I don’t know what else could be. Ok. Ok. I’m just kidding. In fact, a lot of writers, also the successful ones, have a day job. Because, you know, it helps pay the bills, and forces some kind of structure on their day, things like these. Secondly, writers too have families, and pretty much all the same social obligations each of us has. Yes, they learn to say “no” more often to be more productive, but still… Indeed, apart from those who sell in the millions, writers are just human beings. This means they are strange clusters of idiosyncrasies, fears, addictions, aspirations, noble intents, and bullshit. A lot of…

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Where do good ideas come from? Myths about creativity and the creative process

When it comes to human relationships, and the most effective ways to improve them, a large number of people resort to self-help books . It’s reasonable. In fact, given the hectic times we live in, most of these people hope to find some quick and dirty tricks. Something to solve their problems with a minimal amount of time and effort on their part. Unfortunately, the truth is that such tricks rarely solve anything at all. Just think about it for a moment. Many self-help books tell us to smile and repeat over and over again the name of the people we’re talking with. These books also suggest that we ask the people we’re talking with about their jobs and hobbies. These I just mentioned, are just some of the most banal examples. However if we follow these suggestions in a mechanical and opportunistic way the people we are interacting with will soon realize…

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Writers who don’t read, an ossimoron?

a man and a book - writers who don't read - Peter Rey

Sure, writers who don’t read aren’t really that common, but they’re not so rare either. In any case, some time ago, I came across the “confessions” of a young writer. She said she didn’t read much. Almost nothing at all.  She explained that she did so not out of a sort of repulsion for books by other authors, but to keep her voice, her style, as personal as possible. In short, she didn’t want to get influenced by what she read. Now, this might seem an interesting position. After all, any serious writer works hard to develop a strong personal voice. A voice able to grab the readers since the very beginning. Think, for example, of Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov, and the way even the first few lines can give away so much about Humbert Humbert’s character: Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.…

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