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inspiration

Jack Kerouac’s List of 30 Beliefs and Techniques for Prose and Life

  1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
  2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
  3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
  4. Be in love with yr life
  5. Something that you feel will find its own form
  6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
  7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
  8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
  9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
  10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
  11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
  12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
  13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
  14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
  15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
  16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
  17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
  18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
  19. Accept loss forever
  20. Believe in the holy contour of life
  21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
  22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better
  23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
  24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
  25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
  26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
  27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
  28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
  29. You’re a Genius all the time
  30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

Staying focused has always been a challenge of mine.

(Note to self: that could be one of the reasons why you have some sliiiight problems with posting stuff on this blog on a regular basis…just a wild guess)

Okay. Okay. Okay. The thing is; I tend to want to be somewhere else. Always. When I’m in the middle of reading a book, I suddenly feel like writing a letter. As I’m writing the letter, I feel like cooking something. And as the kitchen is all messed up, I get an idea for a picture that I have to take. Right away.

It’s like my head is not capable of being in one place.

This can be frustrating. Everyone knows how good it feels to finish things. To write the last line of an article you’ve been struggling with for days. To paint the wall you’ve been planning to paint for two years. Finishing something releases this great energy – and it makes you feel like anything is possible! But when your focus shifts every five minutes, it’s really hard to get to that place…

So. I’ve decided to do the grown up thing. No more putting my fingers in my ears singing lalalalalalala. No more saying that this is who I am, and I just can’t do anything about it. I’m looking for long-term solutions! For some time now, I’ve been experimenting with different strategies for finding my long lost focus. And believe it or not, I’ve actually found a few things that works:

1) Hour by hour scheduling.

I might not be inventing the wheel here, but I’ve found that making a good old time table helps me stick to one activity at the time. Every morning I try to make a list of stuff that I want to get done during the day, and I decide how long I want to work on the different tasks (and in which order). This way, I don’t have to (ehm…get to) answer my email as I’m writing a blogpost or solve world problems during lunch. Very liberating – and effective! I usually  do each activity for an hour, and I put in plenty of breaks. (And here are some breaking news: it’s highly necessary, I would say ESSENTIAL, to sneak fun stuff in between the not so fun parts!)

2) Meditating

I’ve been writing about this before, but it can’t be said too often. I consider meditation to be my (not so) secret superhero weapon in my fight against the evil armies of King Chaos and Queen Doubt. Meditation is just a metaphor for living. As I get better at sitting still without reacting to my thoughts and emotions, I also get better at keeping my focus in all other areas of life.

4) Routines

Ah, it sounds so boring! Like some creepy animal sneaking up from behind and attacking my freedom. But I’m slowly starting to realize that some routines are actually very helpful if I want to get things done. Why? Because they help me cut down on the ridiculous amount of time I spend on arguing with myself. If I know that I will be working out every Tuesday and Friday, I don’t have to spend my precious energy trying to convince myself that it is better to do it tomorrow. And if I know that I’m getting up at 8, I don’t have to have that exhausting fight with my alarm clock every single day. Routines for President! (as long as there is still enough time to play…)

3) Carrots:

No work without a reward! This is simple children pedagogy,  I know, rabbits and carrots, but hey, it’s been working for thousands of years! Chocolate. Fresh air. Sex. Reading a book. Watching an episode of Seinfeld. Knowing that something good is waiting for me in the horizon will always makes me work a little bit harder – and faster! And I suspect I’m not the only one who’s brain is functioning like this. (Oh, Homo Sapiens you are such a predictable species…) More carrots, please!

That’s it for now.

100 grown up points for me!

(and probably about a thousand hypocrite points if I don’t get better at updating this blog…)

Please let me know if you have any good advice on how to keep my head in place.


Human beings are voyagers.

For 200 000 years we have been drifting through the Universe, constantly stretching, pushing, expanding, moving, developing; Always struggling to reach higher, to go deeper, to know more.

We have climbed mountains and crossed oceans. We have built pyramids, and libraries and airplanes. We have invented knives and wheels and x-ray machines and iPhones. We have discovered atoms and galaxies. And we have taken our first small steps into the deep forests of the World Wide Web.

Our history is full of explorers. And we are constantly discovering new landscapes.

What is it that keeps pushing us?

Why did Columbus risk his life (and the lives of hundreds of others) to discover America? Why did Marie Curie expose herself to danger to develop her theories of radiation? What drove Carl von Linné to travel an unknown world in order to systematize plants and flowers? And what on earth made Neil Armstrong leave this green and exuberant planet behind, to put his feet on the surface of a gray and dusty moon?

A couple of years ago, a Norwegian newspaper hired me to take some pictures at a fertility clinic, and one of the employees invited me to have a look at a sperm sample in a microscope. It was a breathtaking experience. I will never forget the feeling of awe and wonder that rose in me, as I witnessed the incredible movement of thousands of very alive cells.

A similar thing happened the first time I watched the sky through the lens of a telescope. I was totally blown away by the sight of an uncountable number of stars and the bright light of Saturn, accompanied by the voice of an astrologer explaining to me that we are all made of stardust. It made me feel like a part of a big puzzle. Like a tiny, tiny part of a pattern that is too huge and complex for my little human brain to grasp.

Both of these experiences opened my eyes to the mysteries that are unfolding inside of us and around us.  They didn’t give me the whole answer to why human beings have this mystical drive to develop. But they gave me a glimpse of the secrets of the Universe. And left me with an overwhelming urgency to find out more.

There is something profoundly human about our wish to know who we are, where we are going and where we are coming from.

It doesn’t matter if we are astronauts or housewives or musicians or presidents or teachers. We are explorers. Our job is to keep learning. To keep growing. To keep discovering. To climb mountains and cross oceans, both mentally and physically. To keep searching. And to keep building impressive and life-changing things.

The American astronomer Carl Sagan once said:

”Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”

So let’s keep exploring!

A good start would be to watch this:

And this:

And this:

IN SEARCH OF EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN!

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in a coffee shop reading a book, while a conversation at the next table suddenly caught my attention.

There were three people at the table; one man and two women, and the man was doing 99% of the talking. His message was basically this:

Women are mediocre.

They have no talent.

No matter what field you are looking into; literature, art, politics, you name it; women are always creating less interesting work than men.

Oh, lord.

I really, really wanted to break in. I wanted to get up and walk over to the table and look the guy in the eyes and be extremely convincing and say:

THIS IS NOT TRUE, AND YOU KNOW IT.

But I didn’t. I just remained seated two meters away, all angry, hiding my long, red ears behind my book.

And then I went home and started making a list of incredible women.

I scanned my memory in search of women that have inspired me; Women that have made me better. Made me laugh. Made me move. Made me want more. Brave & brilliant women that have pushed the limits of society and culture, in order to make great changes in their and our world.

This is what I found:

Anaïs Nin (French author, 1903–1977)

Fearless and brave, extravagant and hard working. She never gave up her dream of becoming an author. She refused to let her gender limit her (one of the things she did was to publish erotic literature in a time where women were absolutely not encouraged to talk about (or even think about) sex). She was full of wisdom – and not afraid to spread it. Several of my favorite quotes are from here (“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”, Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage and so on).


Miranda July (american musician, writer, actress and film director, 1974-)

OH, MIRANDA! I’ve been in love with her ever since I saw her movie “Me and You and Everyone We Know” back in 2006. My crush just grew bigger as I read her book No one belongs here more than you (a collection of strange and poetical short stories) and discovered her wonderful project Learning to Love you More (where she is collecting different kinds of stories from people all over the world). Humor, brains, energy and style – what a combination. I am most definetely a fan!


Patti Smith (American poet, musician and photographer, 1946 -)

Patti Smith was one of the first women I really looked up to. I remember walking around with her music in my headphones, longing to have her courage and her voice. I admire her poetic approach to life, her faith in patterns & coincidences, her political radicalism and her unconditional love for great art. She definitely has her own opinions – and she’s never afraid of speaking out loud.

Sophie Calle (French artist, 1953-)

A great source of inspiration. Her work is a continuous investigation of life, and I love the way her art expresses curiosity, openness and ability to look at the world from many different perspectives. She is using a lot of different media, never limiting herself to just one thing. Seeing her work always makes me want to get to know people around me. And it makes me want to create!

Lady Gaga (american singer, 1986-)

Ok. I never thought I would say this, but after reading this blogpost and watching this interview, I have to admit that I have a lot to learn from Mother Monster. I might not be the biggest fan of her music, but i DO admire her courage, her creativity, her will power, her eagerness to make a difference, her optimism, her talent and the fact that she is working her butt off to achieve her very ambitious goals!

Karen Blixen (Danish author, 1885-1962 )

No list of great women without Karen Blixen! She was a fabulous storyteller and an adventurous traveller, living at a time where women were expected to do little more than cooking, cleaning and giving birth. Almost 50 years after her death, her words most definitely still have their value. Like this quote for example, When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.

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WHO IS INSPIRING YOU – AND WHY?

I will be very happy if you share your female role models with me, so we can make a much longer list of extraordinary women!

Scientists, politicians, mothers, teachers, religious leaders, actors, lawyers, clowns, musicians, hard-working workers, nannies, athletes, friends…..BRING THEM ALL ON!