Design expert Donald Norman has written that when people are anxious, they tend to narrow their thought processes. Conversely when people are happy, they become more creative and imaginative at solving problems. If this is true, it means that one of the best things a technical writer can do is create beautiful content that moves readers to a happier, more adaptive emotional state. Or so I contend.
A journey through the Old Forest looks totally different from my day-to-day existence. Yet this passage from Tolkien is a pretty apt description of what I found life to be like in 2020, and continues to be like in 2021---a description that resonates more deeply with me than the Groundhog Day metaphor.
With the new year comes new resolutions, a common one being to read new books that challenge you. The idea is that doing so will expand your mind, make you a better person. But is that the inevitable outcome of such an endeavor? English professor Micah Mattix doesn't think so.
With COVID we have more opportunities for solitude than ever before, and artists of all people should be grateful for that. Right? Well ... what if solitude is less about isolation from the world so you can paint or write, and more about a process of "concentrated fascination" that leads to the production of art not only for yourself but for the common good?
What is courage, and how do we get more of it to face the difficult days ahead? Insights from sci-fi, art, and social activism.
What enables you to endure suffering? What gives you the hope to go on? In Fani's case, it is a glimpse of a restored world where everything sad comes untrue.
It's quite simple, really: A public pension, encouragement to keep going, and assurance that not all the stories worth telling have been told.
Well, whaddya know? Turns out there are advantages to retreating from the frenzy of politics and pursuing beauty as an end in itself.
In the fictional world I've been building for my novel, there are semi-spiritual beings called syven (a Siberian term for "helping spirits" or familiars) that can be bound to a person's tattoo and later summoned in need. Here's how I imagine they look.
"None of us know what will happen. Don't spend time worrying about it. Make the most beautiful thing you can. Try to do that every day. That's it." ~Laurie Anderson