Personal Development

Articles on self improvement, personal development, productivity, and getting things done.

Anything Can Happen After Your First Draft

I saw this on Tumblr recently and felt it had to be shared.

Rantings Ravings Dragon Tamings asked:

Dear Mr. Gaiman, I am following your advice on writing and well, writing. I’m even handwriting so as to stop myself from preemptive editing. However, every day it becomes more and more apparent to me that the book I have in my mind is way better than the one that’s coming out. I get the feeling that once I get around to editing the book, it will end up changing A LOT. Is this normal? Is it okay for the plot to undergo lots of changes later as well? Or should I just write a better first draft?

Neil Gaiman responded:  Read more…

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Posted by Gnorb - September 4, 2012 at 8:30 am

Categories: Personal Development, Quotes, Writing   Tags: ,

If You Just Walk Long Enough

“Cheshire Puss…Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

– Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

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Posted by Gnorb - August 23, 2012 at 9:00 am

Categories: Personal Development, Quotes   Tags: , ,

One Bit Better

[I]f the question of perfection means wading through hell and back for some minuscule attempt to be better than you already are, because I love what I do, I see nothing wrong in that. I guess that’s what passion is about.

– Edrei Zahari of Footsteps in the Mirror, in response to Quality: When Enough is Enough

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Posted by Gnorb - August 20, 2012 at 8:30 am

Categories: Personal Development, Quotes, Writing   Tags: , ,

We Are Alive

…[W]e are alive and that it is gift and privilege, not right. We must earn life once it has been awarded to us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation.

– Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

When was the last time you looked at the world around you and thanked–or even thought about–the splendor of existence and life? Read more…

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Posted by Gnorb - August 3, 2012 at 8:30 am

Categories: Observations, Personal Development, Quotes   Tags: ,

Lesson Earned

I don’t like Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hardly a Scrooge. I LOVE the holiday! But there’s always something that bothers me about receiving gifts. (By this logic, I also dislike my birthday, something everyone around me can attest is entirely false.) Here’s the deal: receiving gifts–or payments, or praises for that matter–bothers me when I don’t feel like I’ve earned them. In fact, it makes me feel pretty terrible. Humbled, but terrible.

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Posted by Gnorb - January 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Categories: Favorites, Money, Personal Development   Tags: ,

Going Vegan

New year, new me. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? Anyway, the title says it all: we (by which I mean my beautiful wife and I) are going vegan. Mostly. At least for a little while. Frankly, I don’t know if it’ll stick (she loves beef, I love fish), but we’ll see where we’re at in a couple of months.  Read more…

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Posted by Gnorb - January 11, 2011 at 9:40 am

Categories: Featured, Health, Life, Personal Development   Tags: , , , , ,

Bill Cosby at Carnegie Mellon: “Where the Nerds Stand Tall”

Nerd: A prepared person who doesn’t give a damn about the dance. — Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby’s keynote speech in Carnegie Mellon University. I found it interesting because there have been plenty of times in my life when I doubted myself–as we all have. At times I’ve given into that doubt. At time’s I’ve overcome it. The biggest lesson I’ve learned throughout it all? If you’re going through Hell, DON’T STOP!

Right in the middle he starts talking about the first time he got his big break, how the demons inside his head–those voices we all hear that tell us we can’t do something, the voices of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt–took over him during his biggest opportunity and what it took to overcome them. Towards the end he hands us this nugget: “Don’t talk yourself into not being you. At any time. You don’t have an excuse that works. When you say ‘But I was nervous!’ That’s not you! That’s not how you got here! Yeah, you can be nervous. It’s good for you. It tunes you. But people want to see you… When you’re good, then you bring YOU out.”  Read more…

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Posted by Gnorb - June 7, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Categories: Humor, Personal Development   Tags: , , ,

The Metaphoric Journey

“Close your eyes,” he told me. I laid back on the recliner, closed my eyes, and sunk into a meditative state. He continued. “See yourself walking down a stairway. Down… down… down…”

I was in a fortress. The walls and floor were all made of polished stone. I walked down a spiral stairway. I came to a window on my left. I looked out at the clear blue sky and the emerald fields below. Far below. Leaning against the window sill, I sighed. Here I was alone. Here I am alone, and it’s where I go to find peace.

Recently, I discovered something else. Read more…

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Posted by Gnorb - January 12, 2009 at 7:30 am

Categories: Personal Development   Tags: ,

Productivity in 2009

“Now is the time to design the next ten years of your life–not once they’re over.
– Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
Driving to my parent’s house last night, I was listening to the Gnarles Barkley song “Crazy”. Over and over again. That’s because it was the first time I’d ever caught this passage:

My heroes have the heart
to live the life I want to live.
And all I remember
is thinking
“I want to be like them.”

Thing is, I’d been giving a lot of thought to exactly that: my heroes, the lives they live, and what it takes to be like them. At the same time, I’ve been thinking about my future, where I am, and where I’m going, starting with goals for the next year.  Read more…

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Posted by Gnorb - December 23, 2008 at 7:30 am

Categories: Life, Observations, Personal Development   Tags:

I Forgot

I was supposed to go to a workgroup for creating comics and graphics novels today. Although it’s well known that I miss every other week because of trips to Tampa, and while I believe I had already made it known last week that I’d miss it, I’m still not 100% sure they knew I’d be gone. I had planned on calling someone to let them know, you know, just in case, but…

I told a friend I would call him after I got home last night from Tampa. It was about 10pm, and while I got home alright (a bit tired from the 4 hour drive), I didn’t. Guess I just…

When does someone stop being accountable? At what point when you say “I’ll do something” which you don’t do you stop being accountable? We’ve all forgotten about or been prevented from doing things we promised we’d do — the dishes, throwing out the trash, calling at a certain time, meeting someone somewhere — but at what point does a person go from being accountable to being someone who can’t really be counted on? Read more…

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Posted by Gnorb - June 30, 2008 at 9:00 am

Categories: Personal Development   Tags: ,

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