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Susan Sontag on literature and freedom – superb read.


Susan Sontag on literature and freedom – superb read.

All the roads are one road, but time has the reins

"What struck me with special force, however, was the authority of time over that space. Leaning down to place a palm on the asphalt that morning, feeling its cool and the bite of its grit, I touched that single surface—and yet its remotest parts remained absolutely alienated from me by sheer walls of time. I can’t get there from here—not without time’s transforming consent.” ~ Matthew Battles





Creating Consumes

"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."

~ Kevin Ashton

[Don’t miss the excerpt from the Dickens letter at the bottom.]

Creative Ambition, and Saying No

"My own problem is it’s hard for me to say no. Despite years of therapy I still have the demented idea that I should be a nice guy. This is crazy. It’s a character flaw for anyone who is trying to accomplish something." ~ Steven Pressfield

I need a shed

"They weren’t indulgences. They were places of focus, for people whose creative output depended on it. They were acknowledgements that even a ringing phone, or footsteps from an upstairs room, can be enough to derail concentration for many of us. With all the attractions of the internet, a creaky floorboard is the very least of our concerns."

Matt Gemmell

On Going Out

"Maybe we go out in order to fall short … because we want to learn how to be good at being people … and moreover, because we want to be people.”

Sheila Heti

‘Sometimes my wife comes up to me at a dinner party and says, “Dammit, Thurber, stop writing.” She usually catches me in the middle of a paragraph. Or my daughter will look up from the dinner table and ask, “Is he sick?” “No,” my wife says, “He’s writing.”‘
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
Albert Camus (via endangerment)

And there are so many more beautiful ways to use that energy that dissipates into the projection of normalcy…