Make Noise Especially now, you need to make yourself heard. Hound editors, badger sources, broadcast your bright ideas and latest bylines to your networked minions. Gaze-averting humility is no longer an option.
Be Boring If you’re the most interesting one at the party, something’s definitely wrong. Strive instead to feel outclassed, outsmarted, depressingly dull. It means you’re in superlative company. Ask questions, take notes, skulk home with genius-grant-worthy story ideas.
Other People’s Money Pretend it doesn’t exist. Fixating on the fortunes of others — whether higher or lower — ultimately only has one effect: making you feel like a small-minded wretch. Writing what you love is a richer reward.
Write for the Apocalypse What if the ridiculous blog entry or Kardashian charticle you’re writing today ends up being the only surviving fragment of human culture? It could happen. Edit, sharpen, write like eternity depends on it.
Stay Calm In Thai culture, mai pen rai – “it’s nothing” — is more than an attitude. It’s a way of life. No worries, no dramas, let’s move on. No wonder the Thai economy is booming while the rest of the planet kvetches.
Form a Council Here’s an idea: Every other Monday evening, bring together the ten wisest people you know. Sit in a circle. Dim the lights. Pick a conversation prompt. Respect the person with the talking piece. Watch the transformation unfold. To learn more about the 30-year-old council movement, see www.ojaifoundation.org.
Shower Not only will you smell better than most freelancers, you’ll generate fresher ideas. The New York Times recently reported on the neurologic benefits of zoning out — like when you’re showering — for making the nonlinear connections essential for true creativity.
Spend to Earn I just returned from a month in Thailand. Now I have no choice. I have to write about the experience to pay for it. Make your Visa statement your writing coach.
Be Brief Some radical honesty: People care less than you think about your random musings on the college road trip you took to Florida. Take a hatchet to your draft before pressing send.