Art

“Understand: to create a meaningful work of art or to make a discovery or invention requires great discipline, self-control, and emotional stability.  It requires mastering the forms of your field.  Drugs and madness only destroy such powers.  Do not fall for the romantic myths and clichés that abound in culture about creativity—offering us the excuse or panacea that such powers can come cheaply.  When you look at the exceptionally creative work of Masters, you must not ignore the years of practice, the endless routines, the hours of doubt, and the tenacious overcoming of obstacles these people endured.  Creative energy is the fruit of such efforts and nothing else.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“Your task as a creative thinker is to actively explore the unconscious and contradictory parts of your personality, and to examine similar contradictions and tensions in the world at large.  Expressing these tensions within your work in any medium will create a powerful effect on others, making them sense unconscious truths or feelings that have been obscured or repressed.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“There is vitality, a life force, energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.  The world will not have it.  It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions.  It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.  You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.  You have to keep yourself open and aware of the urges that motivate you.  Keep the channel open…” ~ Martha Graham, via How To Live A Good Life

“There’s no one way — there’s too much drivel about this subject.  You’re who you are, not Fitzgerald or Thomas Wolfe.  You write by sitting down and writing.  There’s no particular time or place — you suit yourself, your nature.  How one works, assuming he’s disciplined, doesn’t matter.  If he or she is not disciplined, no sympathetic magic will help.  The trick is to make time — not steal it — and produce the fiction.  If the stories come, you get them written, you’re on the right track.  Eventually everyone learns his or her own best way.  The real mystery to crack is you.” ~ Bernard Malamud, via Daily Rituals

“Like your private bedroom, your writing room should be private, a place where you go to dream.  Your schedule — in at about the same time every day, out when your thousand words are on paper or disk — exists in order to habituate yourself, to make yourself ready to dream just as you make yourself ready to sleep by going to bed at roughly the same time each night and following the same ritual as you go.  In both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives.  And as your mind and body grow accustomed to a certain amount of sleep each night —six hours, seven, maybe the recommended eight — so can you train your waking mind to sleep creatively and work out the vividly imagined waking dreams which are successful works of fiction.” ~ Stephen King, via Daily Rituals

“Creativity is often misunderstood.  People often think of it in terms of artistic work – unbridled, unguided effort that leads to beautiful effect.  If you look deeper, however, you’ll find that some of the most inspiring art forms – haikus, sonatas, religious paintings – are fraught with constraints.” ~ Marissa Mayer, via Talk Like TED

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