The Download for March 1, 2016

Brain Pickings: Artist Agnes Martin on Inspiration, Interruptions, Cultivating a Creative Atmosphere, and the Only Type of Person You Should Allow Into Your Studio

A studio is not a place in which to talk to friends. You will hate your friends if they destroy the atmosphere of your studio. As an artist you will have to try and live with inspiration. You are not like the little boy in the dirt free and open. The whole world which you now know intrudes. It is almost hopeless to expect clarity of mind. It is hopeless if your studio atmosphere cannot be preserved.

Creative Hive: Common Mistakes You’re Making in Your About Page

Your about page on your site is one of the most important pages there is.

The pressure is on to make sure your about page is the best it can be.

It can often be a matter of making or breaking the sale.

Fast Company: 6 Critical Steps To Take Before Launching Your Startup

Entrepreneurs may come up with a winning startup idea overnight, but putting it into action takes much more time and plenty of mistakes. Each misstep can be a learning opportunity as long as it isn’t your nascent company’s downfall. Here are six things you can do in the pre-launch phase to make sure your startup actually sees the light of day and winds up succeeding.

Fast Company: The Ultimate Guide To Goal Setting For People Who Never Set Goals

Having a goal comes down to knowing where you want to be. And sometimes, that alone is enough to put people off from goal setting. For those of us who, for whatever reason, are allergic to goals, not knowing where we want to be later can feel liberating or just fend off the anxiety of falling short.

But there almost always comes a time when setting up a goal to work toward is the only real way to get something important done. And for those times, the late, great salesman and author Zig Ziglar offered a timeless framework for goal setting that even the most goal-resistant person can find useful when it really counts. Here are a few key steps, drawing on Ziglar’s approach, that can help you get started.

Live in the Grey:

It took me a long time (I’m obviously a slow learner) to figure “it” out. “It” being the fact that sometimes we have to slow down, to walk away or stop what we are doing in order to get things done better and faster. The physical space that is created when we walk away from a tough problem or complex task allows us to actually think. It’s not that we weren’t thinking before. The issue is that high levels of frustration, stress or pressure impede our ability to think through the issue thoroughly. So productivebreaks can actually help us solve problems more quickly.

One Flew East: The Makings of A Scholar/Teacher?

…I’ve found that I deal better now with ‘abstract research questions’ because I’ve made things with my own hands. Unlike her, that was no recent thing for me. I was very lucky: I grew up working in printing establishments, spent a great deal of time working in garages and restoring automobiles, and have experience with chickens, hogs and oxen. Do these experiences color my academic work?

You bet they do. They are a constant part of my teaching, my service and my scholarship—yet they count for nothing in terms of academic evaluation. They should.

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