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Illustration by Kris Di Giacomo from Enormous Smallness by Matthew Burgess, a picture-book biography of E.E. Cummings

“You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly… Accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well.”

Source: Jennifer Egan on Writing, the Trap of Approval, and the Most Important Discipline for Aspiring Writers – Brain Pickings

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“If I could catch the feeling, I would; the feeling of the singing of the real world, as one is driven by loneliness and silence from the habitable world.”

Source: Virginia Woolf on the Relationship Between Loneliness and Creativity – Brain Pickings


FROM THE ARCHIVE 8th October 2012

Two Delicate Screens Greeting Card by FirstNightDesign

“You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.”

How wise the creator of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Source: “You are Never too Old to … Dream a New Dream”


Portrait of John Keats by William Hilton

“The roaring of the wind is my wife and the Stars through the window pane are my Children… I do not live in this world alone but in a thousand worlds.”

BY MARIA POPOVA

“Nourish yourself with grand and austere ideas of beauty that feed the soul… Seek solitude,” the great French artist Eugène Delacroix counseled himself in 1824. Just a few years earlier, another timeless patron saint of the creative spirit extolled the rewards of solitude as a supreme conduit to truth and beauty.

Celebrated as one of the greatest poets humanity has ever produced, John Keats (October 31, 1795–February 23, 1821) married an extraordinary capacity for transcendence with an uncommon share of sorrow. His short life was suffused with loss from a young age — his father died after a horseback accident when Keats was eight and his mother died of tuberculosis when he was fourteen. And yet even amid his darkest despair, Keats…

Source: Keats on the Joy of Singledom and How Solitude Opens Our Creative Channels to Truth and Beauty – Brain Pickings


“I doubt I would have written a line … unless some minor tragedy had sort of twisted my mind out of the normal rut.”

My daily rhythms of reading and writing were recently derailed by a temporary but acute illness that stopped, unceremoniously and without apology, the music to which mind and matter are entwined in their intimate tango. For the second time in my adult life — the first being a food poisoning episode — I was made palpably aware of how body and brain conspire in the thing we call being. The extreme physical weakness somehow short-circuited the “associative trails” upon which fruitful thinking is based and my card to the library of my own mind was mercilessly revoked, and yet I was granted access to a whole new terra incognita of the mind, a Wonderland of fragmentary ideas and sidewise gleams at Truth. Then, as recovery airlifted me out of the mental haze, returning to my mere baseline of cognitive function felt nothing short of miraculous — as soon as I resumed reading, everything sparked fireworks of connections and illuminated associative trails in all directions. It was as though the illness had catapulted me to a higher plane of what Oscar Wilde called the “temperament of receptivity.”

This, of course, is not an uncommon experience — both the tendency to treat illness as an abstraction until it befalls the concreteness of our body-minds, and the sense of not merely renewed but elevated mental and creative faculties coming out on the other end of a physically and mentally draining stretch. But no one has articulated this odd tradeoff more masterfully than…

View original: Roald Dahl on How Illness Emboldens Creativity: A Moving Letter to His Bedridden Mentor | Brain Pickings.


Two Delicate Screens Greeting Card by FirstNightDesign

“You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.”

How wise the creator of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C S Lewis, was, and you don’t have to subscribe to his religious views to get a great deal of benefit from his non-fiction writing.

Take care and keep laughing!

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