43 Folders

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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.

Twyla Tharp

Video: Merlin's Talk, "Toward Patterns for Creativity"

Merlin Mann - "Toward Patterns for Creativity" - Macworld PULSE

Here's a video of my presentation, "Toward Patterns for Creativity," from earlier this month at Macworld, here in SF.

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Twyla’s Box: It’s Where Everything Goes

Self-Reliant Film » Blog Archive » Twyla Tharp: Getting Things Done (with Boxes)

This post by Paul Harrill is a great take on what I've been saucily referring to as, "Twyla's Box." (Yes, again with the Twyla Tharp book.)

I'm sharing it here, because in addition to delivering a thought-provoking slap at the self-abuse of productivity pr0n ("Certainly if you find yourself reading productivity book after productivity book you’re missing the point" [ouch]), it includes a canny synthesis of the overlap between (the best, non-fiddly parts of) GTD and those patterns that seem to help folks like Twyla Tharp to keep making for decades. Nice work, Paul. Loved this (and sorry for arriving so late to the party; I am now subscribed).

So, first a quote from Paul's post, followed by (forgive me) a long-ass re-quoting of Tharp's chapter, "Start with a Box", which I've lovingly copied straight from Paul's swell post. Paul said:

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Sample Chapter from "The Creative Habit"

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life (Free 1st Chapter)

As long as I've outed myself as an obsessive fan of Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit, it seems sensible to point you to this free excerpt of the book, which includes the full text of the book's first chapter.

While it doesn't capture the clear-eyed usefulness of the book nearly as satisfyingly as each subsequent chapter does, it will give you a feel for why this book's different from your garden-variety aspirational artist porn -- this woman does not believe in "natural genius," and she damned well expects you to work your ass off, every day:

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Twyla Tharp, on Failing Well

YouTube - Twyla Tharp on the Subject of Motivation and Creativity

As I get older, I've learned to really appreciate people who are smart, opinionated, and ornery — yet still have the plasticity of mind to synthesize new ideas and be okay with sometimes failing.

Feels like a big pattern for making this stuff work over time.




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. »