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George Saunders: What writers really do when they write

George Saunders: What writers really do when they write | Knowledge Broker |

A series of instincts, thousands of tiny adjustments, hundreds of drafts … What is the mysterious process writers go through to get an idea on to the page?


Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

"There is something wonderful in watching a figure emerge from the stone unsummoned, feeling the presence of something within you, the writer, and also beyond you – something consistent, wilful, and benevolent, that seems to have a plan, which seems to be: to lead you to your own higher ground."


I suggest you also watch this video with George Saunders from The Atlantic. 

Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, May 5, 12:42 PM
This is an interesting, humourous post.
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Writing Your Way to Happiness

Writing Your Way to Happiness | Knowledge Broker |

The scientific research on the benefits of so-called expressive writing is surprisingly vast. Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory.

Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.

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Dani Shapiro on the Pleasures and Perils of Writing & the Creative Life

Dani Shapiro on the Pleasures and Perils of Writing & the Creative Life | Knowledge Broker |

The writing life requires courage, patience, persistence, empathy, openness, and the ability to deal with rejection. It requires the willingness to be alone with oneself. To be gentle with oneself. To look at the world without blinders on. To observe and withstand what one sees. To be disciplined, and at the same time, take risks. To be willing to fail — not just once, but again and again, over the course of a lifetime.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Absolutely fantastic read on the pleasures and perils of writing and the creative life.

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How Does Writing Affect Your Brain?

How Does Writing Affect Your Brain? | Knowledge Broker |

According to today’s infographic, writing can serve as a calming, meditative tool. Stream of conscious writing exercises, in particular, have been identified as helpful stress coping methods. Keeping a journal, for example, or trying out free-writing exercises, can drastically reduce your levels of stress.

Via Dennis T OConnor, Christine Heine, AlGonzalezinfo
Cathy Ternent Dyer's curator insight, August 7, 2013 10:22 PM

Great information! Thanks to Elvira for telling me about it. :)
I've always said that keeping a journal is cheap therapy! 

Ann Kenady's curator insight, February 5, 2014 11:24 PM

Massage your brain....

Chris Shern's curator insight, February 1, 2015 5:39 AM

The power of putting pen to paper helps to make sense of a world increasingly filled with noise.

Rescooped by Kenneth Mikkelsen from Writing for Kindle!

Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling

Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling | Knowledge Broker |
These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar's Story Artist. Number 9 on the list - When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn't happen next - is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres..

Via Inspire the Muse, Penelope
Kenneth Mikkelsen's comment, March 29, 2013 1:36 PM
Thanks, Penelope. I really enjoyed this one!
Penelope's comment, March 29, 2013 2:23 PM
You are welcome, Kenneth! It was really personal for me. That is one of my favorite movies! ;)
Janet Vasil's curator insight, April 1, 2013 8:45 AM

Break through writer's block by reviewing these rules.


Curated by Kenneth Mikkelsen
Thinker ★ Speaker ★ Writer ★ Leadership Adviser ★ Learning Designer ★ Neo-Generalist

Kenneth Mikkelsen is co-founder of FutureShifts. He helps visionary companies identify and tackle the big shifts in the world by cultivating the skills, mindsets, behaviours and organisational cultures needed to succeed in times of change.