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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Plato or Play-Doh?


Just in case the previous post on the Atomists was a little too philosophical, here a few choice quotes about philosophers from one of my favorite books, Non Campus Mentis: World History According to College Students compiled by Professor Anders Henriksson.

Pythagasaurus fathered the triangle.”

I offer these actual quotes from college students (taken from term papers and blue book exams) for two reasons. One, they’ll make you laugh and laughing is always a good response to writing resistance, not to mention just plain good for your body and spirit.

“The Ancient Greeks founded the Olympics in about 1896.”

And two, these quotes will demonstrate that no matter how stupid you fear your writing might be, it can’t begin to compare with the stupidity that’s already out there in the world. And that furthermore, stupidity can be the source of publishing success.

“Plato invented reality. He was teacher to Harris Tottle, author of The Republicans.

If you’re feeling stuck, try to write the stupidest, most sophomoric version of what you’re writing about. Seriously, try to be stupidly funny – it’s amazingly freeing.

“The Atomists discovered the concept of E=MC2.”

“U. Clid proved that there is more than one side to every plain.”

“The Sophists justified themselves by changing relatives whenever this needed to be done.”

“These pre-Socratics lived long before Plato and were not decisively influenced by his work.”

“Lust was a must for the Epicureans.”

Who knew?

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