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Books Creativity Quotes Writing

Ta-Nehisi Coates: made for the library, not the classroom

“I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates
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Books Quotes Writing

Jack London: Keep a notebook

Jack London in his study
via twitter

Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up in your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.

Jack London
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Arts Books Creativity

‘A dragon day is a day when you refill your creative well’

4. Everyone needs a dragon day. In the middle of my burned-out period of the challenge, I started sculpting little dragons out of clay, just for fun. I did this on Sundays, which is my permanent day off from painting (thirty-in-thirty challenge or not, I still wasn’t planning to paint on Sunday). When I was talking to my sister about how I was feeling so uninspired about painting, but so excited about making cute little dragons, she started calling Sundays my “dragon day.” And I liked that idea so much that I now call Sundays my dragon day, whether I’m sculpting a little dragon or putting together a photo album or baking a new yummy treat. A dragon day is a day when you refill your creative well; it’s a day to do anything creative that you want, just for fun, with no expectations that anything will come of it other than the joy you get from the act of creating.

This reminds me of the author Tim Wu’s piece in which he observes that today’s Instagrammable edited real-life era has pressured people into hobbies only where they can excel. Instead, he implores people to enjoy a hobby for the hobbies sake.

The exploration of imperfect creativity produces a raw pleasure one can’t find in meticulous planning.

Categories
Arts Books Writing

Joyce Carol Oates: On writing when you’re exhausted

I have forced myself to begin writing when I’ve been utterly exhausted, when I’ve felt my soul as thin as a playing card…and somehow the activity of writing changes everything.

Joyce Carol Oates
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Books Quotes Writing

Samuel Beckett: ‘My mistakes are my life’

“My mistakes are my life.”

Samuel Beckett
Categories
Books Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Don’t think. Act.

Ignorance and arrogance are the artist and entrepreneur’s indispensable allies. She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be—and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off anyway. How do we achieve this state of mind? By staying stupid. By not allowing ourselves to think. A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate. Don’t think. Act.

Steven Pressfield, Do the Work