Tag Archives: Work

The Sorrows of a Young[ish] Writer

“From the moment I start a new novel, life’s just one endless torture. The first few chapters may go fairly well and I may feel there’s still chance to prove my worth, but that feeling soon disappears and every day I feel less and less satisfied. I begin to say the book’s no good, far inferior to my earlier ones, until I’ve wrung torture out of every page, every sentence, every word, and the very commas and full stops look excruciatingly ugly. Then, when it’s finished, when it’s finished, what a relief! Not the blissful delight of a man who goes into ectasies over his own production, but the resentful relief of a delivery man dropping a burden that’s nearly broken his back. Then it starts all over again, and it’ll go on starting all over again till it grinds the life out of me, and I shall end my days furious with myself for lacking talent, for not leaving behind a more finished work, a bigger pile of books, and lie on my death-bed filled with awful doubts about the task I’ve done, wondering whether it was as it ought to have been, whether I ought not to have done this or that, expressing with my last dying breath the wish that I might do it all over again!” 

Emile Zola, The Masterpiece

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Children’s books teach to accept inequality

“Martin analyzes nearly 300 children’s books and finds that there is a marked tendency for these texts to represent certain animals in particular kinds of jobs. Jobs that allow the occupant to exercise authority over others tend to be held by predatory animals (especially foxes), but never by “lower” animals (mice or pigs)….

…there is a hidden language or code inscribed in children’s books, which teaches kids to view inequalities within the division of labor as a “natural” fact of life  – that is, as a reflection of the inherent characteristics of the workers themselves.  Young readers learn (without realizing it, of course) that some species-beings are simply better equipped to hold manual or service jobs, while other creatures ought to be professionals. Once this code is acquired by pre-school children, he suggests, it becomes exceedingly difficult to unlearn.

As adults, then, we are already predisposed to accept the hierarchical, caste-based system of labor that characterizes the American workplace.”

More: http://m.jezebel.com/5979617/childrens-books-and-segregation-in-the-workplace

SpyWriter Jack King, the author of:
Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault, and The Fifth Internationale.
Coming soon:


What it takes to be a writer

“You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.

This is the experience of all writers. …

… if you want to get into the big time, you have to have your own fences to jump and learn from experience. Nobody ever became a writer just by wanting to be one. If you have anything to say, anything you feel nobody has ever said before, you have got to feel it so desperately that you will find some way to say it that nobody has ever found before, so that the thing you have to say and the way of saying it blend as one matter—as indissolubly as if they were conceived together.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

More: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/01/08/f-scott-fitzgerld-on-writing/

SpyWriter Jack King “A new King of thrillers on the horizon” http://www.SpyWriter.com

Find a boring job, write a novel

“Being bored at work can have a positive effect because daydreaming can increase creativity, according to a new study.”

“Boredom at work has always been seen as something to be eliminated, but perhaps we should be embracing it in order to enhance our creativity.”

“We want to see what the practical implications of this finding are. Do people who are bored at work become more creative in other areas of their job, or do they go home and write novels?”

More: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/bored-at-work-great–youll-be-more-creative-says-study-8443540.html

SpyWriter Jack King “A new King of thrillers on the horizon” http://www.SpyWriter.com

Meet Dr. Shakespeare

“Students may begin their medical school careers riding on a cloud of altruism and goodwill, but it’s not long before the grueling schedule, avalanche of new vocabulary and stubborn patients can take a toll.

To return the student brain to a state of balance, David Watts, MD, UCSF professor of clinical medicine, argues that a healthy dose of literature — poems and stories, specifically — be a core part of the student experience.

It may seem counter-intuitive: Adding more work to an already-loaded academic schedule seems like a recipe for disaster. But in an article titled “Cure for the Common Cold” published last month in The New England Journal of Medicine, Watts says that poems and stories — even just a few a week — can show students the richness of human relationships. In other words, imaginative literature can reignite the compassionate spark that spurred students toward the healing arts in the first place, according to Watts.”

From: http://www.healthcanal.com/mental-health-behavior/33454-Treat-Emotional-Toll-Medical-School-Physician-Prescribes-Shakespeare.html

Jack King on Facebook and www.SpyWriter.com

From reading to leading

Want to be a leader in your field? Read.

“The leadership benefits of reading are wide-ranging. Evidence suggests reading can improve intelligence and lead to innovation and insight. Some studies have shown, for example, that reading makes you smarter through “a larger vocabulary and more world knowledge in addition to the abstract reasoning skills.” Reading — whether Wikipedia, Michael Lewis, or Aristotle — is one of the quickest ways to acquire and assimilate new information. Many business people claim that reading across fields is good for creativity. And leaders who can sample insights in other fields, such as sociology, the physical sciences, economics, or psychology, and apply them to their organizations are more likely to innovate and prosper.

Reading can also make you more effective in leading others. Reading increases verbal intelligence (PDF), making a leader a more adept and articulate communicator. Reading novels can improve empathy and understanding of social cues, allowing a leader to better work with and understand others — traits that author Anne Kreamer persuasively linked to increased organizational effectiveness, and to pay raises and promotions for the leaders who possessed these qualities. And any business person understands that heightened emotional intelligence will improve his or her leadership and management ability.

Finally, an active literary life can make you more personally effective by keeping you relaxed and improving health. For stressed executives, reading is the best way to relax, as reading for six minutes can reduce stress by 68%, and some studies suggest reading may even fend off Alzheimer’s, extending the longevity of the mind.

Reading more can lead to a host of benefits for business people of all stripes, and broad, deep reading can make you a better leader. So how can you get started? Here are a few tips:”



Writers and morality

“Political correctness is now about to affect the behaviour of writers, with the American arm of HarperCollins introducing a “morality clause” that gives it the right to terminate a contract if “an author’s conduct evidences a lack of due regard for public conventions and morals or if such behaviour would materially damage the work’s reputation or sales”.

Ironically – HarperCollins, one of the Big Five publishers, is part of the entertainment and media empire run by Rupert Murdoch of the phone hacking scandal


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Books make Friends for Life

 ”Data from the NEA points to a dramatic and accelerating decline in the number of young people reading fiction. Despite their enthusiasm for books in grade school, by high school, most kids are not reading for pleasure at all.  

Statistics don’t bode well for a happy ending: One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. Over 58 percent of the U.S. adult population never reads another book after high school. Nearly 42 percent of college graduates never read another book. Over 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year. Just under 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years. There’s more, but you get it. If 4 out of 5 adults aren’t reading, then their kids will never read either.  

And that’s a shame. Because good books, like good friends, stay with you for life, always there when you want or need to draw on them. I can’t imagine life without them.  

No matter what your child does in life, the key to success will be reading skills. You owe it to your children to read with them, as well as to them. You’ll not only be teaching them a critical life-skill, you’ll be giving them the one thing they crave from you the most – your time.”

More: http://www.tctimes.com/columnists/if_i_were_king/help-wanted-must-be-able-to-read/article_f77c1fe8-d97b-11e1-95a5-001a4bcf887a.html

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Reading novels improves work skills

This comes back now and then and is worth repeating: reading novels is good for your brain, benefitting your interpersonal and work skills.

“According to recent reports featured in Forbes and the Harvard Business Review blog, reading fiction can help you develop highly valued interpersonal skills and increase your emotional intelligence.

Why not just read the latest tome on productivity or how-to best-seller on effective team building strategies? While non-fiction business books offer practical techniques and useful case studies, novels employ a more subtle way of cultivating interpersonal skills.

According to data conducted by cognitive and behavioral researchers, diving into a story triggers neuronal brain activity that helps the reader understand human emotion and ultimately improve his or her emotional intelligence. Even if one has a wide circle of acquaintances, the thought patterns and processes of these individuals are usually private. However, in a novel, a reader is exposed to a character’s innermost thoughts and emotions, yielding insight into how different personality types approach a situation.

Research supports the theory that exposure to characters’ different perspectives and ways of viewing the world can translate into more empathy in relationships, including workplace interactions.”

More: http://m.heraldbulletin.com/thb/pm_104136/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=Ywui01s8

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Read fiction to succeed in business

“A lifelong habit of reading great novels exposes the mind to many more human dramas than are available in real life.

It enables a deeper understanding of the human animal and its subtle psychological nuances.

That understanding will help you deal with people much better – and in business these days, it’s the people that matter.

“It’s when we read fiction that we have the time and opportunity to think deeply about the feelings of others, really imagining the shape and flavour of alternate worlds of experience.”

Truly great novelists have a very sharp eye when it comes to watching the way people live, relate and interact. They are able to weave this understanding into their characters and plot and dramatic structure, to create a product that leaves the brain stimulated in a way few other experiences can deliver.

“Business is about life, and so is fiction. The great businessperson must understand people, their driving emotions, their ambitions and their fears, and what causes their rise or fall. A great novelist delivers precisely that understanding.”

More: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Reading+fiction+good+for+improving++business+acumen+/-/539444/1312066/-/1io5ga/-/

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