ARCHIVE FOR Craft Advice

The Importance of Embracing Contradictions

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In this post, Ben Berman looks at the importance of embracing contradictions and mixed emotions when writing poems.

 

 

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the great researcher of creativity, has written a lot about conflict and dialectical tensions in his research on creative personality traits. In his study of some of the most eminent creators of the 20th Century (Nobel Prize winners in every field of study), he found that many of these people shared what he called antithetical traits, and he grouped these into ten categories

 

According to Csikszentmihalyi, creative people often exhibit these paradoxical traits – they ...

September 11, 2019 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice

Ten Writing Rules That Will Improve Your Life

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Stick to a daily word count. Take more writing classes. Write twenty more queries. Yada Yada. What are the writing resolutions that are really important in terms of achieving success and having a reasonably satisfying work life?

Here are ten "rules" I try hard to live by when it comes to my writing. They don't all come naturally, but I strive to remember them, especially when I'm struggling.

September 4, 2019 | Katrin Schumann

Books & Reading Craft Advice The Workshop The Writing Life

The Importance of Flexible Thinking

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In this post, GrubStreet instructor Ben Berman discusses how learning to think flexibly can help us be more creative.

 

 

Flexible thinking refers to our ability to shift or reframe how we are thinking about an idea.

When psychologists measure one’s aptitude for creativity, they often focus on this aspect of thinking. How many uses can you find for a brick? they ask, before grading the responses based on fluency, originality, flexibility and elaboration.

August 14, 2019 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice The Writing Life

How to Survive Writing a Book: The Rollercoaster of Engagement

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By Katrin Schumann

 

I’ve always loved to dive in and re-vamp a space. Each project starts with enormous energy and hope. I’m excited by all that I can achieve with just a little energy, imagination and hard work—and the price of a gallon of paint.

It recently occurred to me that writing a first draft is not unlike revitalizing a room

August 7, 2019 | Katrin Schumann

Books & Reading Craft Advice The Writing Life

How Form and Content Work Together

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In this post, GrubStreet Instructor Ben Berman discusses the importance of attending to both form and content when composing and reading poems.

 

 

The other day I asked my eight-year-old what would be the first thing that she would buy if she had her own money. I’m not sure, she said, but it definitely wouldn’t be anything made out of plastic because that’s bad for the earth, and I think I’d want something that would keep me healthy.

July 10, 2019 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice