Author Sara Zarr: Finding Inspiration in Failure

Author Sara Zarr has big ideas. Her books tackle huge themes with beautiful, realistic prose that cuts to the heart of her characters. Last week on author Nova Ren Suma’s blog, Zarr posted about what inspires her to write. 


You’d think she might be inspired by the fact that her first novel (Story of a Girl) was a nominee for the National Book Award, or that her fifth and most recent novel (How to Save a Life) was just named to the Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2011 list. 

Surprisingly, success isn’t what drives Sara Zarr to write. 

What’s the big idea that does inspire her?

Failure.

Zarr writes: 

I’m reminded that the point of creating isn’t control. 

The point isn’t saving yourself from embarrassment... 

The point isn’t avoiding failure.

We can’t. It’s inevitable. Those who finish what they start persevere through it, blow gently on those embers, tend to that first love...

Read her entire post here. Whether you’re creating books, balance sheets, or legal briefs, it’s a great way to start your week.

Develop mindfulness to boost your creative intelligence

Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned mindfulness leader, teaches meditation at Big Think Edge.

Image: Big Think
Big Think Edge
  • Try meditation for the first time with this guided lesson or, if you already practice, enjoy being guided by a world-renowned meditation expert.
  • Sharon Salzberg teaches mindfulness meditation for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Google Maps apologizes for going rogue in Japan

The navigation tool has placed a school in the sea, among other things.

Strange Maps
  • Google has apologized for the sudden instability of its maps in Japan.
  • Errors may stem from Google's long-time map data provider Zenrin – or from the cancellation of its contract.
  • Speculation on the latter option caused Zenrin shares to drop 16% last Friday.
Keep reading Show less

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less

A new theory explains Jupiter’s perplexing origin

A new computer model solves a pair of Jovian riddles.

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill)
Surprising Science
  • Astronomers have wondered how a gas giant like Jupiter could sit in the middle of our solar system's planets.
  • Also unexplained has been the pair of asteroid clusters in front of and behind Jupiter in its orbit.
  • Putting the two questions together revealed the answer to both.
Keep reading Show less