If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be – Maya Angelou
For me, the process of finding one’s voice was many, many years of suppressing it, because I was kind of ashamed of it…a switch threw in my mind and I thought you’re such an idiot: all this time you’ve been trying to make energy on the page but keeping all your natural instincts on the side…
George Saunders, Authors On Tour, Live from The Tattered Cover
Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already I am.
Thomas Merton, via The Happiness Project (http://gretchenrubin.com)
Sometimes, when I’m down, I feel like I’ve shot my bolt,…but it passes, and I go back to the computer.
Herman Wouk, at age 97
The story is not the idea. The story is the telling. Crafting a good plot is one skill. Telling the story is another. Both are necessary, but arguably the second takes much more time and is where the art is. You could give 20 authors the same exact story idea and you’d get 20 different books.
Write only what you alone can write.
There’s a certain amount of intuitive thinking that goes into everything…. I have a pile of stuff in my brain, a pile of stuff from all the books I’ve read and all the movies I’ve seen. Every piece of artwork I’ve ever looked at. Every conversation that’s inspired me, every piece of street art I’ve seen along the way. Anything I’ve purchased, rejected, loved, hated. It’s all in there.
We can only connect the dots that we collect.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity.
Originality depends on new and striking combinations of ideas. It is obvious therefore that the more a man knows the greater scope he has for arriving at striking combinations.