43 Folders

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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.


Real Advice Hurts

In the wonderful Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott talks about the incredible, ripping pain she felt after having her tonsils removed. All she wanted to do was chug pain killers and let the stupid thing heal, but, Anne's doctor gave her some advice that she found as unbelievable as it was painful: he told her to chew some gum.

Turns out that, as with a lot of injuries, the entirely sensible impulse to protect and baby a wounded area was the opposite of what Anne actually needed in order to fix the problem. So, by enduring the excruciating pain of chewing gum for just a few minutes, the muscles in her throat suddenly unclenched, and Anne's pain went away forever.

The advice Anne wanted wasn't the advice she needed. And, like we all eventually learn, the best advice you'll get in life hurts like hell at the time. Because it has to.

And, maybe that's part of what what bugs me about all the "tips."

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Four Years

[“what is this?”]

Four years ago last Monday, I started 43 Folders with a TypePad account and no idea what I was doing.

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Lawrence, the Shovelblog Pony

LINK: Lawrence, the Shovelblog Pony

Lawrence, the Shovelblog Pony

This is Merlin's drawing of Lawrence, the Shovelblog Pony. He's self-referential. Please consider promoting unnecessary viewing of Lawrence by alerting your favorite social bookmarking network as to how awesome he is.

Thank you. Now please consider closing your browser so you can go make something cool.

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Philipp Lenssen's excellent AdSense tips

Google AdSense Tips

Having noticed Google's new "Newbie Central" site, Google Blogoscoped's Philipp Lenssen posted a swell pile of his own best tips for improving AdSense performance on your site. Linked here because (at least IMHO) it's depressingly rare to find useful, non-douchey advice about making money with a website.

Typical of the sage stuff from PL:

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »