“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.”

Miles DavisMiles Davis

“Remember that every single thing that happened to you is yours and you get to tell it. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”

Anne LamottAnne Lamott

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take a while. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Ira GlassIra Glass

“We usually think of breakthroughs as ecstatic moments that elevate us from a lower level to a higher. And they do. But there’s a paradox. In the moment, an epiphany feels like hell…an epiphany trashes us. It exposes us and leaves us naked. We see ourselves plain and it’s not a pretty picture. The essence of epiphanies is the stripping away of self-delusion.”

Steven PressfieldSteven Pressfield

“I don’t want to have the terrible limitation of those who live merely from what can make sense.”

Clarice LispectorClarice Lispector

“In a world as myriad as ours, the gaze is a singular act: to look at something is to fill your whole life with it, if only briefly.”

Ocean VuongOcean Vuong

“I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.”

William FaulknerWilliam Faulkner

“The creative adult is the child who has survived.”

Ursula K. Le GuinUrsula K. Le Guin

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea beneath us.”

Franz KafkaFranz Kafka

“Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.”

Johann Wolfgang von GoetheJohann Wolfgang von Goethe