Scared of Public Speaking? Tips from an Anxious Comedian

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] The first time I ever spoke in front of a large audience, I was terrified. Even the (ironic) comfort that the topic was “my fear of public speaking” didn’t help. My legs trembled so hard that I worried I might fall over. I could barely concentrate on what […]

Be Careful What You Wish For: Lessons from an Unusual Opportunity

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Wishes are dangerous. So every fairy tale tells us. The genie will grant your desires… but too literally. The monkey paw will give you what you want… but with an evil twist. And, just when you think you’re safe, the magic lemming steals your fruit in the night. […]

Doing Things The Stupidest Possible Way

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Earlier this year an email newsletter inspired me with a new motto: “I’m only doing easy things from now on”. Unfortunately, this wasn’t purely intended encourage my natural laziness. The idea is that doing ‘easy’ things—meaning activities which come naturally—puts us in a state of flow, so we […]

How to Tolerate Uncertainty When Waiting

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Ding. You’ve Got Mail. Later, you will think, “I really ought to turn off that notification. It’s not 1997.” But right now, other things are on your mind. Your throat is tight, your heart is thumping, and you’re nervously staring at that bold subject line which has appeared […]

A Simple Trick to Sidestep Self-Criticism

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Sometimes I’m ashamed to share my work. You might think that’s understandable (particularly if you’ve been exposed to many of my posts before!) but this isn’t just a healthy sense of shame at my evident limitations.  Often, it’s fear of my own unoriginality. That inner voice of shame […]

The 3 Ways My Ideas Die

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] Sometimes I grow tired of the constant hum of random failure. Most of my dreams end up as flops. I’m sure I’m not alone in this—we all struggle with the guilt of not finishing from time to time. It might be unambitious, but occasionally I think it would be nice […]

How to Recover After a Setback

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] This year I’ve experienced a constant stream of setbacks, of varying degrees of seriousness: minor administrative life hassle, major family tragedy, missed career opportunities, painful emotional entanglements, idiotic breakages, unexpected financial demands. At times, it’s felt as if the universe was sending me regular doses of deliberate punishment. […]