Posts tagged ‘creative work’



Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.

Hunter S. Thompson, in a Rolling Stone interview (1996)



When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.

George Orwell, “Why I Write”  (1946)



We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.

Ernest Hemingway on writers, New York Journal-American (1961)



…writing is essentially a matter of saying things in the right order. It certainly has little to do with the creative urge per se.

Clive James, Unreliable Memoirs (1980)


the arts

Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an an enormous reward. You will have created something.

Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country (2005)



A growing body of research shows that when you share a laugh with someone, you’re mirroring not only one another’s body language, but also the hormonal and neuronal activity, prompting a mutual investment in each other’s well-being. That’s a bond of kindness—and you’ll need acts of kindness to make it in any career.

Drake Baer, “Why Humor Makes You More Creative” (2013)


i don’t know

There is really no prescription for creative work, I heard a writer say the other day that he sits down at the keyboard and the first thing he says to himself is ‘I don’t know.’

Geoff Talbot, as quoted in “The Joy of Creative Ignorance” on 99u (2013)


work ethic

Your ambition has very little to do with your work ethic. You can still sit down and get everything done in the day without having a panic attack.

Roger Hobbs, interview with Wall Street Journal: “How a Twentysomething Debut Author Pulled Off a Crime Bestseller” (2013)


step back / take in

When you’re in your 20s and have that leadership gene, the bad thing is that you don’t know when to shut up. You think you know all the answers, but you don’t. What you learn later is when to just listen to everybody else…Creativity cannot explode if you do not have the ability to step back, take in what everybody else says and then fuse it with your own ideas.

Francesca Zambello, interview with the New York Times (2013)



When we’re children, we think we can do anything. Especially in terms of creativity, we don’t think about our skill set as being limited. Why does that stop at a certain age?

Jocelyn K. Glei, Talent Isn’t Fixed and Other Mindsets That Lead to Greatness (2013)


get our hands dirty

We all need to step away from the computer from time to time and get our hands dirty. We need that space to build things, hammer things, and create things—things of glory and things that are an utter (let’s face it) disaster. We can laugh for that extra five minutes when we scrub ink and paint out of our hair, all remnants of the best and most creatively rewarding afternoon we’ve had in weeks.

Andy Luce, “The Necessity for the Tangible” on (2013)


take time, do well

Everything good needs time. Don’t do work in a hurry. Go into details; it pays in every way. Time means power for your work. Mediocrity is always in a rush; but whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing with consideration. For genius is nothing more nor less than doing well what anyone can do badly.

Amelia E. Barr, 9 Rules for Success (1901)


modern art

Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before.

Edith Wharton, The Writing of Fiction (1925)


the secret

Q: What are the key emotional and psychological drivers for an entrepreneur?
A: [Sir Richard Branson] It’s a combination of passion, vision, creativity and a sense of adventure.

Richard Branson, interview with Thought Economics (2013)

%d bloggers like this: