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How to Steal Like an Artist & Other Inspiring Stuff

Sorry for the delay this week. I’ve been developing a class for my local community college in writing graphic novels and the first day is tomorrow! Unfortunately, I’m still not ready for the class, so here are a few links to things I’ve found inspiring over the last week. Enjoy!

Storycorps.org — I’ve known about this company for a while but recently joined their e-newsletter and donated to their cause. Essentially, they provide recording booths for people to come and tell their life stories and have a record of their lives. If you want to see the power of this service, watch this short animation: http://storycorps.org/animation/danny-and-annie/

johnaugust.com — John August is the screenwriter of many films including Big Fish and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His blog is set up to be a Q&A where readers ask questions and he provides answers. The focus of the blog is screenwriting, but his advice is often helpful for any genre. I have especially liked his how-to youtube videos — like Writing Better Scene Description — which show how he goes about rewriting to punch-up scenes.

Pomodoro Technique — I’ve been using this technique for the past few weeks. It’s awesome. Basically, it is centered on the idea of scheduling little breaks into your workday so you don’t sit at the computer for three hours and never stand up. You set an egg timer for 25 minutes and listen to it tick tick tick away while you work on something (the short deadline and sound of ticking makes you stay focused). When the timer dings you take a five minute reward break, then do it again. After four sessions, you take a longer break of 15-20 minutes. It’s amazing how much insight comes from taking breaks. At times, I’ve solved more story problems during the five-minute breaks then during the 25-minute work session. I downloaded a free app for my smartphone so I can do this at a coffee shop, too. For more info on how to use the Pomodoro Technique in your workday, watch this ignite video.

& finally… Austin Kleon’s How to Steal Like an Artist — I’ll let it speak for itself. Inspiring stuff. I especially like #3.

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