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How To Polish Your Manuscript

Tips for polishing your manuscript.<p>Please welcome guest writer Bessie Blue with some tips on polishing your manuscript.<p>Have you ever written a first …

Eight tips on creativity and work from a professional performance artist

1 – Deadlines are your friend<p>Putting pen to paper and coming up with a coherent text has never been an easy task for me, so when invited to participate in a “major book project” and to offer insight and advice to artists starting out in the field, I was flattered but hesitant.<p>Plagued by a horrible …

Celebrated Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary

<i>“You want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you,”</i> Madeleine L’Engle counseled in her advice to aspiring writers. W.H. Auden once described his journal as <i>“a discipline for [his] laziness and lack of observation.”</i><p>Journaling, I believe, is a …

In Praise of Melancholy and How It Enriches Our Capacity for Creativity

<i>“One feels as if one were lying bound hand and foot at the bottom of a deep dark well, utterly helpless,”</i> Van Gogh wrote in one of his many letters expounding his mental anguish. And yet the very melancholy that afflicted him was also the impetus for the creative restlessness that sparked his …

5 Mistakes Writers Make (and How to Avoid Them)

<b>1. Thinking that your book will sell itself</b><p>I have five books published with Simon & Schuster and let me tell you: T<i>hey do not walk off the shelves</i>. I …

On “Beauty”: Marilynne Robinson on Writing, What Storytelling Can Learn from Science, and the Splendors of Uncertainty

Since 1984, Portland-based nonprofit Literary Arts has been inviting some of the world’s most celebrated authors to share their ideas on the craft — ideas like Ursula K. Le Guin’s spectacular meditation on where creativity comes from and the “secret” to great writing. To mark the 30th anniversary …

The Creative Writer's Toolkit: 6 Tools You Can't Write Without

<b>Free Guide:</b> Want to write a novel? Get our free guide to the seven tools that will help you write (and finish) your novel. Click here to download …

Why Creatives Fail: The Difficulties Of Staying Innovative For An Entire Career

I was lucky enough to come up as a journalist working for the legendary Art Cooper, at <i>GQ.</i> Art was one of the last lions of literary journalism, both an exceptionally keen editor and stylist to his core. Art liked his writers to write. He didn’t just encourage voice—often he demanded it.<p>I once spent …

How to Write Fat Books: Walter Benjamin’s Principles of the Weighty Tome

<i>“The author is cheating the reader as soon as he writes for the sake of filling up paper,”</i> 19th-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer admonished in contemplating the ethics of authorship. A century and a half later, Susan Sontag opined that true literature “is actually just this little tiny …

How To Avoid Killer Errors In Your Screenplay's Scenes

Killer Scenes<p>I’ve been working my way through a GIGANTIC pile of Bang2writers’ screenplays of late and noticed a common theme between most of them: …

Go Big

Because every second you're not living life to the fullest is an opportunity missed—and the clock is ticking. To get you going, we've handpicked a no-regrets, full-throttle, see-the-world list of 50 things to do before you die—from climbing an 8,000-meter peak to making the perfect martini. Pro …

The 20-Minute Body-Weight Strength Workout

Gyms are great for building strength and avoiding injury, but you don't have to throw down $100 a month for that. Instead, do a series of body-weight-resistance exercises that target nearly every muscle, like the following four moves from certified strength and conditioning specialist Paul …

Chef Biju's Tandoori-Spiced Super Bowl Chicken

Super Bowl Sunday. You invite friends over to watch the game. You offer pizza, chips, cheese-flavored somethings, coleslaw slathered in BBQ sauce, etc. They point out your culinary immaturity, swat the basket of chicken sticks out of your hands, leave, never return.<p>In reality, Super Bowl Sunday …

The Perfect Home Gym

Cardio: Rev Your Engine<p><b>1.</b> Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer: Thanks to the pivoting frame, the Rock and Roll mimics the road, so both your legs and your cycling-­specific core muscles get a workout. ($579)<p><b>2.</b> Crossrope ­Complete set: ­Seven interchangeable ropes, from two ounces to three pounds, …

Achilles-Strengthening Exercises for Every Sport

Distance runners have no problem cranking out mile after mile, but when it comes to sprinting, they often fall flat because they've neglected to train the fast-twitch muscle fibers crucial for short-burst movement.<p>Skiers, in turn, are often terrible runners because they have tight, bulky legs. And …

Alberto Salazar's 10 Golden Running Rules

ALBERTO SALAZAR knows a thing or two about his sport. A former world-record holder in the marathon, and three-time winner of the New York City event, Salazar was the face of American distance running's last golden age, which peaked during the Reagan administration. Salazar also learned his lessons …

How to Master the Hill Sprint

Running sprints at a steep angle can do a lot. "Adding a hill or a grade forces gravity to work more," says Brian MacKenzie, author of <i>Power Speed Endurance: A Revolutionary Approach to High Performance Endurance Training</i>. "You place more load on what you're doing. That requires you to run more …

CrossFit Training Plan

CrossFit Endurance's Unconventional 12-Week Marathon Training Plan<p>Brian MacKenzie has a few pointed words about your endurance workout. "If you're running five miles a day at the same speed and think you're getting a lot out of that, you're sorely mistaken," says the founder of CrossFit Endurance. …

The Top 10 Fitness Tips for Mountain Athletes

As owner and head coach of Mountain Athlete and Military Athlete, Rob Shaul lives and breathes discipline. From his gym in a warehouse in Jackson, Wyoming, Shaul uses traditional strength and conditioning workouts to teach climbers, mountain guides, kayakers, and other outdoor athletes how they can …

The Best Offense...

Runners get shin splints. Skiers get torn ACLs. Why? The repetitive nature of any sport takes a toll on our bodies’ weakest points. The good news is that the cure for most of these injuries is also the surest way to prevent them: reinforcing those weak links. Vern ­Gam­betta, whose Gambetta Sports …

The Right Way to Interval Train

In case you haven't noticed, high intensity exercise is in. These days, the focus is on interval training—how the truly elite athletes get in peak shape. And the news couldn’t be more positive. But it’s also incredibly confusing. It seems like a new study comes out every other week claiming to have …

How can I improve my running speed?

<i>A:</i><p>Biomechanists have long known that there are two ways to improve running speed. Increase your stride length and increase your stride frequency. It makes sense, right? But how can you do that? Both require increased flexibility and sport-specific strength, as well as improved neuromuscular …

Dave Kalama's Five Exercises for Every Athlete

“It’s essential that you make your workout something you don’t dread,” Kalama says. One way to do that: use your surroundings. “When you go to a gym, it’s one-dimensional. But when you go to a mountain or a park or a beach, the workout is being drawn more from your will. Use the trees, use the park …

Staying On Track: Techy Fitness Helpers

<b>BEST FOR:</b> Overall Health Boost<p><b>Jawbone UP:</b> Wear the wristband to monitor activity and sleep. Use the software—or sync with apps like RunKeeper—to parse the data and spur a healthier lifestyle. ($130)<p><b>Fitbit Flex:</b> The wristband logs distance, calories burned, and hours slept, among others. Upload the …

Training Secrets from the World's Best Rock Climber

Chris Sharma has been dominating the sport of rock climbing almost since the day he took it up at the age of 12. In 1996, at 14, he took home top honors at Bouldering Nationals. A year later he became the first person ever to complete a 5.14c climb in North America (<i>Necessary Evil</i> in Utah’s Virgin …

The Disposable Man

The life of a Sherpa is relatively lucrative in Nepal, but no service industry in the world so frequently kills and maims its workers for the benefit of paying clients. As <b>Grayson Schaffer reports</b>, the dead are often forgotten, and their families left with nothing but ghosts.

The 14 Biggest Weight-Training Mistakes

The bad news? There are a lot of exercises you grew up doing that are dead wrong for building power. If you want to get stronger faster, you’ll need to embrace the new science. The good news? The fixes for those old mistakes are fairly simple. We enrolled two of the country’s leading fitness …

Three Ways to Improve Your Marathon Finish Time

Here's how to modify your race training to improve speed without wearing your body out.<p><i>I'm training for my third marathon this fall and want to improve my speed without getting hurt. I've had a variety of aches and pains through the past two seasons of training and would love to train and finish</i> …