“I don’t believe in this “gifted few” concept, just in people doing things they are really interested in doing. They have a way of getting good at whatever it is.”
“That night, I realized there are no warmups, no practice rounds, no reset buttons. Every day we’re writing a few more words of a story. And when you die, it’s not like “here lies Drew, he came in 174th place.” So from then on, I stopped trying to make my life perfect, and instead tried to make it interesting. I wanted my story to be an adventure — and that’s made all the difference.”
“When you start to think of the arts as not this thing that is going to get you somewhere in terms of becoming an artist or becoming famous or whatever it is that people do, but rather a way of making being in the world not just bearable, but fascinating, then it starts to get interesting again.”
I had seen Lynda’s work around but never paid too much attention to it. After listening to this NPR interview, I’m going to start.
“The people who were interesting told good stories. They were also inquisitive: willing to work to expand their social and intellectual range. Most important, interesting people were also the best listeners. They knew when to ask questions. This was the set of people whose shows I would subscribe to, whose writing I would seek out, and whose friendship I would crave. In other words, those people were the opposite of boring.”
“If you can sustain your interest in what you’re doing, you’re an extremely fortunate person. What you see very frequently in people’s professional lives, and perhaps in their emotional life as well, is that they lose interest in the third act. You sort of get tired, and indifferent, and, sometimes, defensive. And you kind of lose your capacity for astonishment — and that’s a great loss, because the world is a very astonishing place. What I feel fortunate about is that I’m still astonished, that things still amaze me. And I think that’s the great benefit of being in the arts, where the possibility for learning never disappears, where you basically have to admit you never learn it.”
“Being a geek is all about your own personal level of enthusiasm, not how your level of enthusiasm measures up to others. If you like something so much that a casual mention of it makes your whole being light up like a halogen lamp, if hearing a stranger fondly mention your favorite book or game is instant grounds for friendship, if you have ever found yourself bouncing out of your chair because something you learned blew your mind so hard that you physically could not contain yourself — you are a geek.”
—Mary Sue, What It Means to be A Geek
Oh man. Wow. I was smiling so much reading this. I feel like it explains why my eyes light up every time I hear someone say Helvetica, or I smile to myself when I hear the name Woody Allen, or I turn to look who just brought up Steve Jobs. Being a geek is about being excited about something that you have somehow made your own. It’s about being uncontrollably passionate. I hope I’m a geek.
“A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter. I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel a responsibility to society because of going into print: a writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.”
“If it’s a success, if it works, they wanna replicate it. That’s the death of creativity. Then we’ve settled into a groove, then I become bored, the people I work with become bored…it’s a mortifying process. If this isn’t fun and interesting to us, there’s no point doing it.”
“The secret of success is concentrating interest in life, interest in sports and good times, interest in your studies, interest in your fellow students, interest in the small things of nature, insects, birds, flowers, leaves, etc. In other words to be fully awake to everything about you & the more you learn the more you can appreciate & get a full measure of joy & happiness out of life.”
“My original business model—I actually wrote this down—was ‘interesting work for interesting people.’”
—Tim O’Reilly from this profile in Inc. Magazine.
That’s what it all should come down to. I also loved this section: “Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations. You have to pay attention to money, but it shouldn’t be about the money.”