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I write about writing, ideas, creativity, intuition, spirituality, life lessons. Ex-college teacher Twitter: @paulryburn

Some people like to tear their fellow writers down — how do you handle it?

cartoon image of a grumpy crab
cartoon image of a grumpy crab
Image by John Ayers from Pixabay

“You said in your article that (writer X) is someone who inspires you. From what I’ve read, (writer X) is not very talented.”

“You pointed out ways that humans can be cruel to each other. But we’re all human and we all have mental health issues. Your writing is anti-mental health and anti-human.”

“None of the exercises you recommend will actually make anyone a better writer.”

One thing I don’t do on this platform is leave negative comments.

It’s a personal choice.

I prefer lifting other writers up rather than tearing them down. …


See them as opportunities to clean up your energy

annoyed woman
annoyed woman
Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

What minor occurrences have annoyed you in the past day? In the past week?

Isn’t it easy to let those annoyances, those little nuisances, pile up and get the best of you? You spend the rest of the day in a funk. You’re curt and inattentive to your spouse or significant other. You go to bed all riled up and find it hard to get to sleep.

I’m going to share a theory with you about why these minor annoyances happen. Then, I’m going to share a little spiritual judo. We’re going to take those nuisances and use their own…

Applying a lesson from James Altucher

A buffet or full of foods
A buffet or full of foods
Image by Regenia Fondren on Pixy — CC0 Public Domain license

Is it any wonder I’ve got
Too much time on my hands
It’s ticking away with my sanity
I’ve got too much time on my hands
It’s hard to believe such a calamity
- Styx

Plenty of articles have been written about what to do when you have the urge to write, but just can’t find the time. Today, I am going to write about the opposite problem.

For the past 10 months, I have had a part-time job from 9 to 1 Mondays through Fridays. The rest of the day, before and after, I could devote to my writing.

Was this more than just a fun activity? Interested in reading your comments

child in kindergarten
child in kindergarten
Image by Omar Medina Films from Pixabay

One afternoon when I was in kindergarten, the door opened and Mrs. Knutson rolled in her cart.

Mrs. Knutson wasn’t a regular teacher who had her own classroom full of kids. Rather, she and her cart visited all three kindergarten classes at my school on a regular basis. To this day I don’t know what her official title was at the school. I would call her a “special projects teacher.”

We kindergartners were generally happy to see Mrs. Knutson. She usually brought activities for us to do that were interesting and fun.

One day Mrs. Knutson had 28 individual-sized lumps…

Tell me all your thoughts on God…

10,000 years ago God was the Sun
6000 years ago God was a woman
2000 years ago God was a man
Presently, God is an algorithm…

How to get that writing muscle working again

Man at starting line of race; he’s an older man, perhaps attempting a comeback
Man at starting line of race; he’s an older man, perhaps attempting a comeback
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Consistency is important no matter where you are on your writing journey. Part of telling yourself “I am a writer,” and believing it, is a commitment to write a certain number of articles every week.

What number? That varies, depending on where you are as a writer and what else is going on in your life. For a single mom with a full-time job and three kids, one or two a week might be the right amount. For Tim Denning, 10 a week. Those of us somewhere in between might shoot for 3 to 5.

Eventually, though, life happens. There…

And why gamifying will get you to the next level faster

man, holding game controller, victorious at gamifying writing
man, holding game controller, victorious at gamifying writing
Image by FireFX from Pixabay

“High scooooore!”

Who remembers shouting that as a kid (or as an adult)? After weeks and weeks of trying to master a challenging level of that video game, you finally broke through! Wasn’t that an amazing feeling?

What if you thought of all of life as a game, and sought that gaming high in all of your activities?

In the past month, I’ve used gamification to increase productivity at my day job, where I do more or less the same task the entire time. …

2 viewpoints to add to your chef’s cookbook

chef plating food with several different recipe ingredients
chef plating food with several different recipe ingredients
ISORepublic — CC0 License

There are two words that are the most important part of a writer’s idea recipe.

They’re words you probably used when you were 4 years old.

But first, what’s an idea recipe? It’s the combination of sources you use to generate topics to write about. An idea recipe might consist of

  • Books you’ve read
  • Responses you’ve read on Quora, Reddit
  • Favorite quotes
  • Keywords or phrases run through a search engine like Ubersuggest or Answer the Public
  • Past experiences in which you had a strong reaction to what was happening
  • Something interesting you saw on Twitter or Pinterest

If you want…

Give yourself dozens of tiny boosts a day with these 3 simple concepts

Photo credit PenMac on Morguefile

If you’re like me, you plug your phone into the charger about an hour before you leave the office. It’s nice to walk out prepared for what comes next with the battery charged up to 97, 98 percent.

Wouldn’t it be nice to walk out with your own battery charged almost all the way up, as well?

That can be hard to do. It’s called “work” for a reason. Many of us have jobs that involve doing the same thing over and over. It can be draining. It’s no fun to come home sapped of all your energy.

It doesn’t…

Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.

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