“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
By: Mason Curry
Book Overview: Franz Kafka, frustrated with his living quarters and day job, wrote in a letter to Felice Bauer in 1912, “Time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers.” Kafka is one of 161 inspired—and inspiring—minds, among them, novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, who describe how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks. Brilliantly compiled and edited, and filled with detail and anecdote, Daily Rituals is irresistible, addictive, magically inspiring.
“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
“I’ve never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think that the pleasures of not writing are so great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again.” ~ John Updike, via Daily Rituals
“A modern stoic knows that the surest way to discipline passion is to discipline time: decide what you want or ought to do during the day, then always do it at exactly the same moment every day, and passion will give you no trouble.” ~ W. H. Auden, via Daily Rituals
“Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.” ~ Rita Mae Brown, via Blog of Jonathan Fields
“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
“We were born of risen apes, not fallen angels, and the apes were armed killers besides. And so what shall we wonder at? Our murders and massacres and missiles, and our irreconcilable regiments? Or our treaties whatever they may be worth; our symphonies however seldom they may be played; our peaceful acres, however frequently they may be converted to battlefields; our dreams however rarely they may be accomplished. The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk but how magnificently he has risen. We are known among the stars by our poems, not our corpses.” ~ Robert Ardrey via Acts of God
“Just about every great, brave, or beautiful thing in our culture was created by someone who didn’t do it for the money.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?
“Waiting for inspiration is another way of saying that you’re stalling. You don’t wait for inspiration; you command it to appear.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?
“In true budo, there are no opponents. In true budo we seek to be one with all things, to return to the heart of creation. In real budo, there are no enemies. Real budo is a function of love. The way of a Warrior is not to destroy and kill but to foster life, to continually create. Love is the divinity that can really protect us.” ~ Morihei Ueshiba, Budo Secrets