Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Do like Leonard Does

I've just been reading the ever excellent Brain Pickings, in particular how Leonard Cohen is firmly on the side of the perspiration fence when it comes to that famous quote by Edison. Cohen basically plays the numbers game. He writes 'all the time' and eventually he'll find a song he can work with. He also has an interesting take on employment, something that has taken up a significant portion of my daily thinking time since the beginning of last year, and given the title of this blog, one of the prime concerns of all these words. Here's Len on employment;
"Leonard Cohen 2187-edited" by Rama. From Wikipedia.

'But I think unemployment is the great affliction of man. Even people with jobs are unemployed. In fact, most people with jobs are unemployed. I can say, happily and gratefully, that I am fully employed. Maybe all hard work means is fully employed.'

What it actually means Leonard is one of a few things (I looked it up in the dictionary). It can be the state of having paid work, but what he means in this instance is a person's trade or profession. What is Leonard Cohen? He's a songwriter. That's the thing he does with his time, the thing he's chosen to do. Maria Popova, who writes Brain Pickings, calls it an existential imperative. I feel a bit like that about writing. I feel like I have to do it, but sometimes I just turn away from it because I can't be bothered. Then I feel guilty about not doing it. Partly because I think Cohen is right - do it every day and something good might come out of one of those days.

The story behind my latest bit of writing will need another blog post, but for now here it is. It's completely unrelated to Leonard Cohen and writing, it's about the NHS and social enterprises.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Help Me!

With all the many and various distractions that the internet throws up, you can sure find yourself reading a lot of shit you didn't even know that you were interested in. That's basically the whole ethos behind Sabotage Times. As they say themselves 'We can't concentrate, so why should you?' If there is a silver lining to the problem of internet distraction, it's that the really good ideas stand out. Credit where it's due then, to Marianne Power. 

Marianne writes a blog called Help Me! in which she explores the world of self help books. Like all the best ideas, this one seems so obvious it's amazing that no one had thought to do it previously. Self help books are right for close scrutiny if only because, if you were being a bit mean (I am: I've got a hangover) they profit from the anxious and desperate. 

Anyway, if nothing else, she's certainly having a lot of adventures. And if you're interested in writing (which is, I presume, why you're here), there's a really interesting post about turning down a book deal here.