Charles Daly


Category: Blog the Block (page 12 of 14)

Comma Story

We interrupt our regular programing to bring you a public service announcement from TED. 

“Put your A** where your Heart Wants to be.”

In an interview with Oprah, Steven Pressfield reminds artists to remain seated

put your ass where your heart wants to be. And by that I simply mean: if you want to paint, put your body in front of an easel, if you want to write, sit in front of a keyboard. And then just plunge in. 


What You’re Doing Right

Knowing what you’re doing right can be just as valuable as knowing what you’re doing wrong. But your inner-bully doesn’t see it that way. 

Who Else Would be Thinking in Your Journal?

You don’t need to write “I think…” in your journal. Ever.

Take a Break from Punctuation

Do like Cormac McCarthy and work with only comas and periods for a while. Maybe take something you’ve already written and rewrite it without all those “weird little marks,” as he calls them. 
Watch your sentences become cleaner and tighter. It’s easier to listen to your drafts doing it this way, to make music with your words rather than just figuring how to make them play by a set of rules you learned in school. 
If you’re hardcore, cut out quotation marks too. You could be inviting a mess. But done carefully, writing without quotes will force you to work on tone. Let the reader know who’s speaking by developing your characters’ unique voices, not just putting tick marks around their words.

Story Sunday

It’s easy for the heavy lifting of plot to make you sore and put you on the bench for a few days. The trouble of “what next?” or how to make your set ups pay off can easily become a series of blocks and lost days coinciding with the beats in your story. This is the danger of making it up as you go along.  

Try scheduling all your story and outlining work on one day of the week. Take this time to figure out what comes next and work on the plot as a whole, revisit your twists and turning points, explore alternative scenes. Spend the other six days writing the thing and defer all plot concerns to story Sunday. 

Rejection Slips

Every ‘no’ gets you closer to a ‘yes.’ 

Don’t Scream at Your Film

“When you’re in the editing room you need to listen to your film and not scream at your film.” 

–Nick Willing, writer and director 

The 3 Evil “C’s”

Cheyne Kohl, music producer and founder of Underground Tracks in Busan, South Korea, sent me this producer’s podcast on three toxic behaviors that can seep into studio work. The host, Joe, urges listeners to stop:

The green eyed monster can spoil your appreciation of great work and even keep you from being happy for a talented friend. It’s not all about you. Think “different” not “better.”

Joe lives in Nashville where everybody’s a musician. He says you can meet guitarists who are better than you in the checkout line at Target. This can be an opportunity to immerse yourself in the community and learn from others, or an occasion for pissing contests. It’s up to you. 

Just don’t go there. Nobody owes you anything and nobody likes whiners. You’re only entitled to your work itself, not the spoils of your work (that’s the Bhagvad Gita, not Ask Joe.)

The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a handy time management strategy that boosts efficiency and reduces fatigue. Here’s how it works:

Set a timer for 25 minutes. Work, without getting up or Facebooking. 

When time’s up take a 5 minute break. 

Repeat with longer breaks every 2 hours.

Try stopping mid-sentence when the bell rings, you’ll never be happier to get back to work. 

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