The revolt of you

In constant revolt, we take on new challenges that others can’t see or are too preoccupied to try. The mother of invention is necessity, with the brave and curious making that tiny start. The endeavor to do is to learn, not just about ourselves but how we can influence other people. Fight predictability and slothfulness. […]

Writing all the time

Some of us ”sweat the night into words,” the poet Bernard Spencer wrote in his poem “Night-Time: Starting to Write.” Morning or night, day time or lunchtime, it really doesn’t matter when you write. A note, a recording, a scribble — we write it down to remember it now and for later. Everything goes in […]

Brian Eno on what he learned from David Bowie in making art

The ‘write what you know’ trope works because it’s easier to write the truth. But what’s authentic isn’t always what’s best for the art. David Bowie modified his voice when he sang “I’m Afraid of Americans.” He wanted to make sure the tone matched up with the voice of the character (himself) portraying it. He […]

Should we dumb down our art?

If our art is not resonating, we may need to dumb it down (or not). “I dumb down for my audience. And double my dollars,” rhymes Jay-Z in his track ‘Moment of Clarity’ from The Black Album. If we follow Jay-Z’s strategy, we’ll almost certainly attract more attention. People enjoy things they are familiar with […]