Stuff worth reading

“Ang Lee: A Never-Ending Dream” tranlated by Irene Shih

Recalling earlier times, my wife confessed, “I’ve always believed that you only need one gift. Your gift is making films. There are so many people studying computers already, they don’t need an Ang Lee to do that. If you want that golden statue, you have to commit to the dream.”

“Why I Will No Longer Treat Writing Like a ‘Job'” by John M. Cusick

Stephen King said come to the page however you want, but do not come lightly. There’s a difference between every day and everyday. Make space. Make a space. Make it count.

“Creative People Say No” by Kevin Ashton

Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating. Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.

9 thoughts on “Stuff worth reading

  1. Jessica Baverstock says:

    I’m blown away by the loyalty of Ang Lee’s wife. She’s a very impressive lady.

    I also agree that creating is a habit. It’s amazing how quickly we become rusty when he get out of that habit.

    Thanks for the excerpts!

  2. Julia says:

    “No is for drugs and strangers with candy.” Uh oh. You mean I’m meant to say “no” to those things? This could explain so much…

  3. Anthony Lee Collins says:

    “No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.”

    The second point is absolutely true, but the first is more “yes and no.” Do established artists frequently turn down useless requests? I’m sure they do. But younger artists often accept interview requests and so on, because they need the exposure. Robert Fripp once observed that the most surprising thing about becoming a professional musician was how much time he spent doing business and how little playing music.

    Rex Stout wrote the Nero Wolfe mysteries from beginning to end, no edits or rewrites, then he took several months off before starting the next one.

    Artists often work for political causes. Some have families. Some have day jobs. I think the “learning to say no” point is correct and important to learn from, but that doesn’t really support the other point.

    Then there’s the bigger point, which is what your art would be about if you spent all of your time making art, but I think I’ll try to get a little writing done before I go to work. :-)

  4. Kristan says:

    Yeah I don’t think the piece literally means to say no to everything. I think it was intended as a discussion of our cultural/societal disdain for “no” and people who say it, and as a reminder that creatives have to buck that and learn to guard their time.

    What would your art be about if you spent all of your time making art? Well, I think there’s a lot of validity to that question, and for the majority of artists the answer is obvious. But I also think there are some people who can take tiny slivers of things they observe and blow them up in beautiful ways. :)

  5. Jon says:

    Great quotes, I also like how they work together, almost like a conversation. You should write a book on writing!

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