Writing is the best therapy

Perhaps I overstate my case. If writing isn’t THE best therapy. It’s a very good one. And an excellent article at Harvard Business Review sheds some light on why. I am not alone in believing that writing can have a stress reducing and revelatory effect. A research psychologist at the University of Texas, James Pennebaker,Continue reading “Writing is the best therapy”

Alan Watts on finding security in insecurity

Almost two years ago I ditched all my worldly goods, except for a backpack and a laptop, and went travelling. I suspect many people would assume an experience of that kind would be a little scary and make them feel rather insecure. But for me, the opposite is true. Getting rid of the physical possessionsContinue reading “Alan Watts on finding security in insecurity”

The teachings of Alan Watts animated by the makers of South Park

Yes, the creators of South Park have given many gifts to the world. Now they’ve turned their attention to Buddhism and Zen philosopher Alan Watts by animating a selection of his teachings, in their usually hilarious and irreverent style. It’s wonderful. Press play and enjoy. And match Watt’s spoken word with his written thoughts inContinue reading “The teachings of Alan Watts animated by the makers of South Park”

Are video games the end for sci-fi novels?

The megastructure is one of science fiction’s most enjoyable guilty pleasures. There is no other genre of literature that takes quite such glee in describing buildings, whether made by the hand of man or alien. Arthur C Clarke’s Rendezvous With Rama is little more than a guided tour of the titular spacecraft through the eyesContinue reading “Are video games the end for sci-fi novels?”

The shitty #vatmoss laws mirror our shitty piracy laws

If you haven’t encountered it already #VATMOSS refers to a bloody awful new law passed by the European Union on the taxation via VAT of digital goods – which includes things like ebooks and online courses. The aim of the law is to stop Amazon and other big digital retailers from running all their VATContinue reading “The shitty #vatmoss laws mirror our shitty piracy laws”

Why has the imagination been sidelined in literature?

Imagination is a powerful force for progress. So why has it been sidelined in the one place it should be most welcome – literature. In his now famous quote, Albert Einstein claimed that imagination was more important than knowledge. When Einstein wrote those words in 1929, those who knew about such things might have saidContinue reading “Why has the imagination been sidelined in literature?”

Can you name Arthur C. Clarke’s top 5 astounding predictions?

An excellent guest post today from Jared Hill, a blogger living in Chicago who reads science fiction avidly, and who is also keen on sports and film. Arthur C Clarke was a visionary ahead of his time, but do you agree with Jared’s picks for the great sci-fi writer’s top 5 astounding predictions? Follow Jared onContinue reading “Can you name Arthur C. Clarke’s top 5 astounding predictions?”

I interview B&N about their new Sync-Up initiative

DAMO: So tell me about Sync-Up!* B&N: Well, if a B&N customer buys a paperback book from us, they can now buy the ebook as well for $4.99! DAMO: But…isn’t that about what ebooks cost anyway? B&N: Actually the average ebook price is £3.99. DAMO: Er…so why not just buy the ebook the usual way? B&N:Continue reading “I interview B&N about their new Sync-Up initiative”

Branding for writers – just don’t

Nicola Griffith has an excellent and in depth post up about the balancing act between developing depth of craft as a writer, and branding the art that comes of craft. Branded. It’s a brutal word for a brutal practice: a label burnt into the hide without permission. On a cow a brand marks an animalContinue reading “Branding for writers – just don’t”

Why I support #ReaderGate

They want you to believe that #ReaderGate is evil. The Literery Elite want to tell you, that we, the silent majority of readers, yes readers who are the only reason the Literery Elite even get to be elite at al, who have been silent too long, are wrong. But I’m here to tell you not toContinue reading “Why I support #ReaderGate”

Julia Cameron on why creativity can’t be learned, but must be recovered

The bad old days when people were taught that creativity was only for a special, talented few are over. Most of us know we have the potential to be creative. But unleashing that potential can still be a tremendous struggle. Great artists of all kinds – writers, painters, musicians, dancers or any person accomplished inContinue reading “Julia Cameron on why creativity can’t be learned, but must be recovered”

Are these words by Russell Brand baffling nonsense?

I just read a good humoured but frustrating interview with Russell Brand by Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times. Every time Kellaway quotes anything Brand says, she follows up by calling it nonsense and saying she is baffled. This is a fairly common strategy in response to Brand, whose ideas draw a lot on spiritualContinue reading “Are these words by Russell Brand baffling nonsense?”