Want to Know Person, Have a Conversation: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson, celebrity scientist, dismissed the concept of left brain/right brain in an interview with Fast Company. He gave no time to reflecting on the scientific merits of the theory. I’m a scientist. It says a lot about how my brain is wired, how I think, my curiosity my wonder. When I want to judge what it is I can accomplish, I look to. Placing labels to better understand people has two pitfalls. First, …

Find Help Beyond Hype–Online Health Information

In increasing numbers, people go online for health information. The internet is a convenient method to get answers to health questions. However, the answer they get may be misleading or wrong. The Pew Research Center found that more than 60% of all American adults looked up health information online, in the past year. Based on numbers from the largest health sites, people make repeated visits to get health information. WebMD is the nation’s most popular health …

Jump Start Your Personal Statement

Photo: Tuan Hung Nguyen

Writing a personal statement incites fear for medical school applicants. As you write, you may focus on what you believe to be horrible weaknesses. However, writing a personal statement need not be agonizing. As a writer and educator, I’ve had the opportunity to edit college student’s personal statements. With medical students, I have offered editing help. Mostly, I help students rewrite their introductory paragraph. Also, I ask them questions, to get them to brag about themselves …

Rid Yourself of Creativity

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At any moment, you may find yourself infected with creativity. Learn about creative infestation and how to stop it. Panic Everyone has creative moments, multiple times a day. The moments stimulate dopamine, which has many functions, pleasurable reward. Remember that giddy inspiration is fleeting, like a snowflake on your tongue. Stay still, rigid, fearful until the icy intruder melts to death. Beat That Horse To Death Repeated, futile activity keeps creativity at bay. Use your …

Make Good Content Better

Great nonfiction requires rewrites and thoughtful editing. Editing turns good into better. And better into great.  Here are some editing methods for writers. General Advice You are in control of the revising process. Editing needs to be efficient and must end at some point.  You may only have a deadline or the work has limited value. Imposing limits on editing helps you move onto the next project. Big Picture, First First, focus on your overall impression of …

Writers Challenged By Demands

Writing is sparked by a purpose, “I hate your clothes. I will now tell you why.” That basic structure, from beginning to end, is the space for creation. Writers know how to build a structure, which is essential. However, composing the components parts–paragraphs and sentences–bring struggle. Writers operate within imposed structures, which may be thought of as expectations. Readers, editors, reviewers, publishers–anyone who interacts with the work–expects something. However frustrating, these requirements are usually easy …