You’re only going to be as good as the stuff you surround yourself with.

Austin Kleon, a self-described “writer who draws,” emphasizes the importance of your surroundings in regards to creativity:
There’s an economic theory out there that if you take the incomes of your five closest friends and average them, the resulting number will be pretty close to your own income.

I think the same thing is true of idea incomes. You’re only going to be as good as the stuff you surround yourself with.
Hat tip to WordPress Daily Post.

I love it that Kleon draws with words. His site is well worth a visit.

Recommended Reading: Clark’s 50 Writing Tools

Fabulous set of tips for writing. With links to many more. Thank you WordPress 🙂

The Daily Post

The quick list comes from Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark. The quick list comes from Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark.

Self-editing is a skill that any writer can benefit from, though sometimes as writers, we don’t know what we don’t know. In other words, we struggle with precisely what to focus on to improve our writing. In times like these, we can use Roy Peter Clark’s 50 Writing Tools: Quick List as a starting point and a checklist to help us shape and hone our prose.

Based on Clark’s book, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, each tip is designed to improve either your writing or your writerly workflow.

While Clark wrote his tips with journalists in mind, there are plenty of great ideas for those who write flash fiction, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or prose. Here’s just a sample of some gold:

  • No. 2: Order words for emphasis. Place strong words at the beginning and at…

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Euripides is one smart dude

Love Euripedes quotes. My favourite is:
It is a good thing to be rich and a good thing to be strong, but it is a better thing to be loved by many friends.”


“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” – Euripides

Wait a minute, back up, you have not fully digested that statement from Euripides yet… you are not ready to continue reading on…read it again, let it sink it… wow powerful stuff, right!

We all acknowledge balance in our lives is key, but maintaining it is so difficult. It reminds me of the game, Don’t Spill the Beans. The pot is on a rocking device and as the players take turns placing a single tiny bean, if not perfectly positioned, the pot tips over and all the beans come spilling out.

Isn’t this what we are facing every day? Racing around to get the kids to school, all of their extracurricular…

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“My fountain pens have dried up. But it doesn’t matter, for I forgotten how to use them.”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”

When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?

“My fountain pens have dried up.
But it doesn’t matter, for I forgotten how to use them.”

I can no longer recall the last time I used a proper pen, gold (coloured) nib, bottle of ink, beautiful enamel or such like case. They were expensive, fragile and lasted a lifetime. Provided of course that you used them. Otherwise like mine they appear to dry up!

I was twelve or so when I was forcibly introduced to the pleasure and pain that was an ink pen. An Osmiroid. That was the make. We had a new English teacher; he was tyrannical, old, and old fashioned. He actually held up my exercise book in front of the class as an example of wretched writing. I was mortified. I can still recall it. In hindsight, it could probably have been anyone in the class, we all used the cheapest possible ball point pens, Biro’s we knew them as after the Hungarian inventor. They were cheap, cheerful, and inimical to decent handwriting.

Our teacher’s name was Barr and he went on to stipulate that we all purchased and used an ink pen. He even specified the precise make, model right down to the nib style. The pen’s colour was our only freedom. Soon we were all armed with shiny new pens, complete with the mandated medium italic nibs. What a laugh, they were impossible to use. They filled by dipping the nib into an ink bottle, and twisting the end of the pen. A small clear reservoir at the top of the pen then filled with ink. Inevitably we split ink; the nibs scratched, and we broke them. But he frightened me and I persevered.

An Osmiroid fountain pen circa 1970's.

The image is from Ravens March Fountain Pens Under Creative Commons License, this looks exactly like the pens I used.

Soon I found I could write with it, as long as I went slowly. He showed us how to form each letter using the italic nib. Most fountain pen nibs are ball shaped; ours were broad and flat, like a chisel. I began to improve, and as I wrote more slowly, the quality of my writing began to improve too. And he encouraged me, and I began to enjoy writing.

Mr Barr had a theatrical background, he taught us to love Shakespeare and poetry. I grew to love him too, I was to learn so much from him. That, though is a story for another day, or Daily Post 🙂