From Julia Karr, a post about "writing therapy" – things you can do to "stretch your writing muscles and give them new directions. Then, when you come back to your manuscript, you'll be attacking it with healthy writing muscles." Julia offers 4 concrete suggestions, all of which are great, so by all means, read the post. But my personal favorite is number 4:
Write in the style of one of your most admired (or maybe even hated) writers. Write a story ala Jane Austen or Edgar Allen Poe. Write a Shakespearian sonnet or describe a city like Carl Sandburg described Chicago.
From an interview of Tracie Vaughn Zimmer by Laura Purdie Salas:
Tracie: Spying is a mandatory skill for a poet!
Laura: In "Tow Truck Driver," you compare a tow truck driver to a fisherman, reeling in vehicles instead of fish. This entire poem is an extended metaphor, so I'm assuming you already had that comparison in mind when you started writing? Is that right?
Tracie: There's an old German proverb which I adore that says, "Begin to weave and God will give you the threads." That is exactly how poetry works for me. Similes, metaphors (extended or simple) always occur to me as I try to piece a poem together. Don't get me wrong: it doesn't often happen in the first draft! But I don't think I've ever started with something in mind before I park myself in front of an empty page.
And from Brian Kell, an excellent post about something Lebron James said. You really ought to read Brian's post, although I've put most of it here:
He was on 60 minutes on Sunday. And the host was talking to him about his performance in a playoff game two years ago in which James recorded a franchise-record 48 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. James scored 29 of Cleveland's last 30 points, including the team's final 25 points in a double overtime victory. It was called "one of the greatest moments in postseason history."
He scored the LAST 25 points to win. Every SINGLE point!
When asked if he was nervous taking those shots, Lebron just shook his head. I couldn't believe that. How could he not be nervous taking those crucial shots at the basket while being double teamed. I'm nervous shooting a meaningless free-throw.
And he said, "You can't be afraid to fail."
"You can't be afraid to fail."
I like that quote a lot.