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Document 360: #1 Knowledge Base Software

Reading this post made me want to be a workaholic

by Tom Johnson on Dec 12, 2007 •
categories: technical-writing

Reading this post by Scott Berkun made me want to be a workaholic. Here's an excerpt:

Show me a genius and I'll show you a workaholic. Van Gogh produced 2000 works of art between 1880 and 1890 (1100 paintings and 900 sketches). That's 4 works of art a week for a decade, and he didn't start making art until his mid twenties. DaVinci's famous journals represent decades of note taking, doodling and observations, and it's a good guess that work was the center of his life: no spouses or children are mentioned in any of our records of him (though he likely had lovers in his studio). Picasso made over 12,000 works of art (“Give me a museum and I'll fill it” he said, and he was right) in his lifetime, including sculptures, paintings and other mediums. Shakespeare wrote more than 40 plays, not to mention dozens of sonnets, poems and of course, grocery lists. These are people who practiced their crafts daily and sacrificed many other ordinary pleasures in life to make their work possible. Every math or music prodigy practiced to produce the work they are famous for (See the ten year rule).

(This is an essay that Scott mentioned in his post here.)

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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