“The writer is an infantryman. He knows that progress is measured in yards of dirt extracted from the enemy one day, one hour, one minute at a time and paid for in blood. The artist wears combat boots. He looks in the mirror and sees GI Joe.” (Steven Pressfield, The War of Art)
Keep doing the work.
How to write an essay well:
I’m still digging into this but am finding it a great resource to reference. There is so much here that I don’t know or pay attention to, or know instinctively but don’t practice diligently.
The goal of your first draft isn’t to say things well. Save that for rewriting. Your first draft is for generating ideas:
-Brainstorm talking points. -Connect the dots between those points to learn what you’re really trying to say.
This works best when you’re exploring ideas that most interest you. The more self-indulgent you are, the better your article.
As we make progress in our practice of Stoicism, we will become increasingly indifferent to other people’s opinions of us. We will not go through our life with the goal of gaining their approval or avoiding their disapproval, and because we are indifferent to their opinions, we will feel no sting when they insult us. Indeed, a Stoic sage, were one to exist, would probably take the insults of his fellow humans to be like the barking of a dog. When a dog barks, we might make a mental note that the dog in question appears to dislike us, but we would be utter fools to allow ourselves to become upset by this fact, to go through the rest of the day thinking, “Oh, dear! That dog doesn’t like me!” (William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life)
The importance of winters:As winters shrink, our discontent grows is a thought-provoking essay on the impact of climate change and how we rely on seasons to give structure and meaning to our lives. Hadn’t quite thought about it in this way before.
Whenever winter hits and however mild or severe it might be, we must remain cognizant of the fact that winter offers a change of pace, a reduction of the world around us. It can be a period of withdrawal, of reflection and regeneration. If we allow ourselves to embrace it, it can bring us back to a time when people were forced to be more flexible and responsive to the seasons. Maybe we, too, can become more receptive to the small pleasures and wonders that we otherwise perceive only peripherally, if at all?
Often the kinds of efforts that will move forward your business are hard. They are uncomfortable. They require doing things that you (currently) have no idea how to do.
Many people pass on these to pick hobby projects instead. Projects that are fun, seem related to their career, yet, ultimately deliver underwhelming results. Improving their social media marketing, rather than creating compelling content. Installing a new development environment, rather than becoming an expert in their language. Designing business cards instead of drumming up business.
You shouldn’t feel upset that I haven’t seen the “Star Wars” films; I hardly see any films. I read. I see two, three, maybe four films per year.
This made me think, but his comments about watching and understanding what the rest of the population is watching (which it sounds like he’s been saying way before it was trending) also stuck with me.
Tiger stripes are like fingerprints: While creating a book about tigers with my daughter (her idea), we came across the following fact from Wikipedia:
As with all tigers, the white Bengal tiger’s stripes are like fingerprints, with no two tigers having the same pattern. The stripes of the tiger are a pigmentation of the skin; if an individual were to be shaved, its distinctive coat pattern would still be visible