Sunday, April 03, 2011


Today's quotes are brought to you by the letter K. (Yes, I'm channeling my inner Sesame Street.) There are three selections, and each of them comes from a fairly lengthy blog post somewhere on the web. They are, however, worth the time, so I hope you can sit back with a cup of tea, coffee, or other beverage of choice and read one or more of them.

From 50 Things You Need to Give Up Today from Marc and Angel Hack Life:

1. Give up trying to be perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done [by David Allen].
2. Give up comparing yourself to others. – The only person you are competing against is yourself.
3. Give up dwelling on the past or worrying too much about the future. – Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. Don’t miss it.
4. Give up complaining. – Do something about it.
5. Give up holding grudges. – Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.

From time to time, I stumble across something about how the people at Pixar work, and I pretty much always find something inspirational there. This week, I found an article entitled Pixar's Motto: Going From Suck to Nonsuck by Peter Sims, and, well, found a bit of advice that I think helps those of us in the creative trenches:

"My strategy has always been: be wrong as fast as we can," says Andrew Stanton, Director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E, "Which basically means, we're gonna screw up, let's just admit that. Let's not be afraid of that." We can all work this way more often.

What we see is not effortless genius. Through tireless iteration, toil, and (often) sleepless nights, the films start to come together.

Finally, from How to Steal Like an Artist (And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me) by Austin Kleon, which I highly recommend (with thanks to Jules at 7-Imp for drawing it to my attention).

If I waited to know “who I was” or “what I was about” before I started “being creative”, well, I’d still be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things. In my experience, it’s in the act of making things that we figure out who we are.

You’re ready. Start making stuff.

You might be scared. That’s natural.

There’s this very real thing that runs rampant in educated people. It’s called imposter syndrome. The clinical definition is a “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” It means that you feel like a phony, like you’re just winging it, that you really don’t have any idea what you’re doing.

Guess what?

None of us do. I had no idea what I was doing when I started blacking out newspaper columns. All I knew was that it felt good. It didn’t feel like work. It felt like play.

Ask any real artist, and they’ll tell you the truth: they don’t know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing. Every day.
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