People always look for excuses. My favorite one is, “Well that’s easy for you because you have a really popular blog.” As if my really popular blog was something I won in the lottery. I had a really unpopular blog for three years in a row where 10 or 20 people were reading it. When I got started in the book business, I received 900 rejection letters. So you don’t look at the end result — at the Richard Bransons and Maria Popovas — and say, “Well they have that thing that I don’t.” They got that thing by showing up. I am really focused on helping people understand that not showing up is a failure of will more than it is a failure of birth.
As Tchaikovsky put it, “A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood.” Or, per Isabel Allende, “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.”
More on the role of showing up in creative work here.
Also see Godin on vulnerability and how to dance with the fear of failure.
“My name is Molly. I’m 36, single, live in Brooklyn, and work in publishing. I love gloomy Victorian novels, obscure Korean horror films, Premier League soccer, and knitting. I’m 5-foot-5, slim, with brown hair and brown eyes. I am looking for a serious relationship. I suffer from mental illness.”
That dating profile is going to get me nowhere.
I am not ashamed of my condition. Or not exactly. I think there is still a lot more stigma than we admit, and every joke someone cracks about being “so OCD” makes it harder to explain that while you all think you’re totally cool with me being obsessive-compulsive, it’s a lot more than lining up pencils and touching the light switch… I have no qualms about someone seeing my cellulite, but I am afraid of him seeing my self-inflicted scars.
Molly Pohlig's brave, moving essay on dating with mental illness.
(via The Dish)
500px: Matterhorn in Glow.
The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.
I will awake one morning—no feeling below
my neck, feverish with the plot of my last dream:
Therein, I carry a crippled boy like matchwood
from a blackened building, undersides of tongues
and smoke wreathing our heads. Before I make it
out the door, I lose my grip. He falls,
orange-robed, a Buddhist hallowed in flame.
After you’ve achieved the direction of what you want to do, the persuasion is everything – because the direction is established for you, but if it’s not adopted, it’s pointless. It’s not really being a salesperson – it’s really trying to inspire somebody to see something in a way they hadn’t seen int before. And you can do that.
Gestalten interviews legendary identity designer and Pentagram partner Paula Scher (who also makes gorgeous hand-painted typographic maps in her semi-secret life as an artist) in this teaser for their book Introducing Culture Identities: Design for Museums, Theaters and Cultural Institutions.
Also see Scher on why creativity works like a slot machine.