Posts tagged ‘write better’

November 6, 2013

How to See the World Like an Artist

Have I mentioned what a big fan I am of Brain Pickings? If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do. This article from Maria Popova discusses the ways in which we are blind to the world that surrounds us. It delves into seeing our own world with artistic eyes, allowing us to be better, more creative writers, comedians, artists, and filmmakers:

“How we spend our days,” Annie Dillard wrote in her timelessly beautiful meditation on presence over productivity“is, of course, how we spend our lives.” And nowhere do we fail at the art of presence most miserably and most tragically than in urban life — in the city, high on the cult of productivity, where we float past each other, past the buildings and trees and the little boy in the purple pants, past life itself, cut off from the breathing of the world by iPhone earbuds and solipsism. And yet: “The art of seeing has to be learned,” Marguerite Duras reverberates — and it can be learned, as cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz invites us to believe in her breathlessly wonderful On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes (public library) — a record of her quest to walk around a city block with eleven different “experts,” from an artist to a geologist to a dog, and emerge with fresh eyes mesmerized by the previously unseen fascinations of a familiar world.

Popova quotes from the book:

Right now, you are missing the vast majority of what is happening around you. You are missing the events unfolding in your body, in the distance, and right in front of you.

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November 15, 2011

Write Better: Listen to Music

In Billy Mernit’s latest post on Living the Romantic Comedy, he talks about how many writers rely on music to get their writing groove on. Mernit writes:

Caffeine. Alcohol. A toke, a toot. Everyone’s got their favorite stimulant, but when it comes to working on a draft, the overwhelming drug of choice for most writers I know is music.

Four screenwriters interviewed in Karl Iglesias’s fine and useful book, The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters talk of their dependence on music as muse: Ron Bass likes to write to jazz; Steven DeSouza uses soundtracks from movies similar to the genre he’s writing in; Scott Rosenberg goes for rock’n’roll; Nicholas Kazan prefers Gregorian chant (“I need something constant and neutral. I find it’s a wonderful aid that sort of massages the right hemisphere of my brain”).

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