7 Big Mistakes Made by New Authors

If you are new to the craft of writing (books specifically), avoid these common mistakes; if you are experienced, you probably made some of these, as I have. Focusing on ideas rather than execution. This is very common with fantasy writers, who like to spend time imagining an alternate world, complete with maps, magic systems, and economies. The problem is, none of those things are stories, they are background to stories. Likewise, political ideology is not a story, whatever success Ayn Rand has had. A great yarn is focused on the character drama and the action, and you should focus…

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Problems with separation of church and state

This is some practical observation. Separation of church and state really means freedom from blasphemy laws. This is why the restrictions on laws respecting religion or prohibiting it are withing the first amendment to the United States constitution, rather separate from it. It’s fundamentally about speech. The problems (or perhaps flaws) arise when the power and scope of the state grows, especially if the religious make-up of the culture has a high degree of diversity. When this happens the state will become atheistic or agnostic over time, as we can see in most western countries today. Why does this happen?…

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Social time – Align Your Priorities for Creative Output, part 8

8. Social Time We are social beings. We live in groups. To that end, social time is important. Our social nature is also something that is exploited by social media to suck our time and attention away from other matters, and this is something you must be aware of. Depending on your stage of life and personal attitude, social time is something that can be either minimal or all-consuming. It’s also an area of life that few people are really honest about when it comes to acknowledging their preferences. Very few individuals are actually a lone wolf. Some people are…

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Maintenance – Align your priorities for creative output, part 9

7. Maintenance What I classify as “maintenance” are all the little obligations you have as part of living: cleaning the house, taking out the trash, fixing faucets, fixing cares, mowing the lawn, etc. I also include feeding yourself and performing basic hygiene. I think this is one area where there is an intense amount of focus for things like “life hacks” – little things that either save time or improve your effectiveness in this area of your life in the long run. I saw an add for a device called the “Y Toothbrush” that claimed it could clean your teeth…

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Hobbies and Leisure – Align Your Priorities for Creative Output, part 7

Continued from yesterday 5. Leisure and Hobbies I think for most people imagining themselves as productive machines, their idealized self isn’t actively engaging in lots of leisure. Again, though, self-knowledge is key. Some people spend far too much time on video games, but plenty of others work hard so they can enjoy an hour or two of gaming a day. Generally speaking, if I totally avoid leisure activities I suffer mentally and emotionally. I need a certain amount of downtime to flourish, and If I don’t get it I find it is very difficult for me to be happy creating.…

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Creativity and Purposeful Activities – Align Your Priorities for Creative Output, part 6

Previous post in the series. 4. Creativity and Purposeful Activities Here is where we get to producing art. A creative endeavor is something you do because you have a need to create something, to put something out into the world. Painting, music, writing, or even something like wine making, are realms of passion, not merely realms of economic activity. Creativity is always something more than a job. A purposeful activity is something different from that in its fundamental drive – things like charity or volunteer work, which are intended to make a difference in the lives of others but aren’t…

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Health – Align Your Priorities for Creative Output, part 5

Picking it up from yesterday with focus area number 3: 3. Health and Fitness Health, like finance, needs to be a priority on some level for every single person. Ignoring your health will have a massively negative impact on you and your creative output. First, you will be unable to do your work with maximal efficiency. If you are tired from lack of sleep, your focus will be shot and you won’t be able to write. If you ignore a problem like diabetes, you won’t be able to function mentally, and you may lose time to being physically ill. Likewise,…

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Beauty in Art is the Reverence of God

I’ll try to give my broadest, most robust theory behind beauty in art: Beauty in art is the iteration of God’s creation. Yes, this is Platonic. When a painter paints a portrait of a beautiful woman, he is iterating God’s creation directly. If he is painting a woman that is born of his own imagination, he is painting an iteration of the concept of female beauty, which is revealed through God’s creation. This extends to music. Beautiful music is a display of the perfect mathematics that underly God’s creation – an ordering of pitches over time according to mathematical relationships.…

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Family – Align Your Priorities for Creative Output, part 4

Family One of the most prolific composers of the Baroque period, Johann Sebastian Bach, had a total of 24 children across two marriages while being the music director at five churches at once. I bring this up because our society is full of messages that a fulfilling career and family are at odds with one another, when they aren’t. I’ve known musicians who tour extensively, all over the world, and who still have families. Active military personnel, who are often deployed for long stretches of time, still have families. If your own family is something you really want in your…

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Money – Align Your Priorities for Creative Output, part 3

Picking it up from yesterday: Let’s take a look at some of these life obligations and what they mean for somebody who has a desire for high creative output. 1. Money Personal finances, for most people, are something that can only be ignored at perilous risk. We live in a world where we cannot provide for all of our needs, so we must earn money to pay for most of what we consume. Even a stay-at-home parent has to carefully manage a budget to ensure the needs of the family are met, even if the duty of earning the income…

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