there are many things i could have done better, perhaps if i’d had more time, or energy, or help. in retrospect my vision clears. in forwardspect, i know what to do better. i cannot be static. i always need to be doing. a human verb. i think that suits me well.
The time we have alone, the time we have in walking, the time we have in riding a bicycle — [these] are the most important times for a writer. Escaping from a typewriter is part of the creative process. You have to give your subconscious time to think. Real thinking always occurs on the subconscious level. I never consciously set out to write a certain story. The idea must originate somewhere deep within me and push itself out in its own time. Usually, it begins with associations.
The path to success is filled with people helping to clear the way.
There is no African, myself included, who does not appreciate the help of the wider world, but we do question whether aid is genuine or given in the spirit of affirming one’s cultural superiority. My mood is dampened every time I attend a benefit whose host runs through a litany of African disasters before presenting a (usually) wealthy, white person, who often proceeds to list the things he or she has done for the poor, starving Africans. Every time a well-meaning college student speaks of villagers dancing because they were so grateful for her help, I cringe. Every time a Hollywood director shoots a film about Africa that features a Western protagonist, I shake my head — because Africans, real people though we may be, are used as props in the West’s fantasy of itself. And not only do such depictions tend to ignore the West’s prominent role in creating many of the unfortunate situations on the continent, they also ignore the incredible work Africans have done and continue to do to fix those problems.
As many distractions as we have nowadays, we still want to curl up in front of a fireplace with a good book,” he tells me during a break from editing his final batch of episodes. “We still want to be told a story, all of us, by someone who clearly knows what they’re doing and knows how to pace it out. Not too slowly but not too quickly.
Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential — as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.
You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.
To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.
—Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes creator, 1990 Commencement Address
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
for years i have watched the doors ajar
sometimes close, sometimes afar
i have built the distance into my line of sight
arms and wings always at the ready for flight
i always hated to say goodbye
and this time, now, i do not even bother to try
my conscious speaks up, tells me i am too cold
i slip and slide away from it all
the things i knew, people i loved—neatly packed, boxed, and sold
tired and emotionally blank. i wonder when it will all sink in
The myth of the overnight success is just that – a myth.
Alexander Graham Bell knew this when he famously said, “It is the man who carefully advances step by step, with his mind becoming wider and wider … who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree.”
Thomas Edison knew this when he proclaimed, “Success is the product of the severest kind of mental and physical application.”
Amelia E. Barr knew this when she asserted, “Everything good needs time.”
(Source: , via explore-blog)