Below are some of the highlights of Maria Popova from her interview on the Tim Ferriss podcast. Some of the topics discussed include how to be interesting, on doing the work, and what makes a person
On being interesting
- “The key to being interesting is being interested and enthusiastic about those interests.”
- When Kurt Vonnegut wrote “write to please just one person” what he was really saying was write for yourself. Don’t try to please anyone but yourself.
- Content implies an “external motive” for advertisement. Nobody does content from the joy of their soul. Write because it’s personal and you love it.
Summary: Write for yourself. Stay interested. Don’t call your writing content.
“Love words. Agonize over sentences. Pay attention to the world.”Susan Sontag
- “Becoming” is a life long process. You never stop evolving so what you want to become is never done.
- The most important aspect to work is consistency. All successful authors are consistent about their work. They show up and do it.
The formula for greatness: “Consistency driven by the deep love of the work.”
- You don’t have to have a mental illness to be creative. That’s bunk. Yet without art, you may suffer even more.
- “Literature is the original Internet. Every footnote, every citation, every reference, is a hyperlink to another book.” Read books, not just tweets, to find other compelling content.
- “I read to make sense of life. The writing is a record of the reading.” Moments of time, place, weather, etc impact what you read. As long as it helps make your life better and richer in moment and long run, read it.
- Thoreau’s journals are timeless: “Those who work much do not work hard.”