Critical Margins
The Commonplace Book as a Thinker’s Journal
April 13th, 2016, 02:34 PM

For centuries, authors and thinkers have kept commonplace books: focused journals that serve to collect thoughts, quotes, moments of introspection, transcribed passages from reading – anything of purpose worth reviewing...

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The First Year of Reading with My Son
November 20th, 2015, 02:34 PM

One year ago today, my son Connor was born to parents who didn’t know much about how to raise a child. We were ready to do our best, but we...

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In Praise of My Alphasmart Neo
November 12th, 2015, 02:34 PM

Recently, I bought the strangest little device: an Alphasmart Neo. If you’re not familiar with the Alphasmart Neo, then check out this great overview from David Kadavy. It’s a keyboard...

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The Notebook Project (NoBoPro): A Great NaNoWriMo Alternative
November 10th, 2015, 02:34 PM

NoBoWri WhatMo? Many writers know that November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. NaNoWriMo is an international movement to encourage writers at all skill levels to sit...

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Morning pages are like skimming stones
August 31st, 2015, 02:34 PM

I credit my morning pages with changing my outlook on life. I’m coming up to three years of a morning pages routine, with only a few missed days along the...

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The analog tools creatives still use today
August 20th, 2015, 02:34 PM

I am fascinated by the pens, notebooks, and other analog tools artists and writers use each day. The New York Times highlights some in a recent article, “Creative Types From...

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Setting goals isn’t always the best creative move
August 19th, 2015, 02:34 PM

If you do any creative work (and I’m assuming most Critical Margins readers do something creative) you’ll recognize what researcher Kenneth Stanley calls the “objective paradox”: According to Christie Aschwanden...

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In Defense of the Present Tense (from lithub.com)
August 18th, 2015, 02:34 PM

It’s becoming the most popular verb tense in fiction writing, and this article by Alexander Chee at Lithub.com defends it: As a part time professional ‘creative writing tutor’, I can...

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I hope you’re reading this on your phone – I am!
August 17th, 2015, 02:34 PM

About a week ago, when I wanted to try out Amazon’s new bookerly font, I went searching for my Kindle Paperwhite and realized the battery was dead; I hadn’t used...

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Why Writing on Paper Matters in the Digital Age
June 9th, 2015, 02:34 PM

Nothing can replace the experience of writing on paper, so why seek out a digital replacement? Last month, I faced a predicament: How should I organize and manage all my...

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