Living in the present
- Some people live majority of their life in the past or the future and not the present.
- Acquiring a regular, stable state of happiness is pretty easy if your mind is 90% focused on the present.
Prioritizing writing while working
- My mantra is to just keep chipping away.
- Collect things in your day: on notes app, on voice memos. Ordinary things, textures, conversations, singular words.
- The right question isn’t whether you have enough time to write. The actual difficulty is allowing space for beauty, inspiration, and general insight.
- Create writing groups. Set up rituals. Make time. View writing as an internal occupation.
Devotion and finding your own voice
- Devotion is simple. It means turning up humbly again and again to the mat. Practice. Presence. Effort.
- To start writing well, you need to take all your raw material and halve it and then halve it again. Restart. Reword. Rethink.
It took me years to play like myself. Finding your own voice takes a very long time. It’s okay to emulate people you admire, to iterate, and to change your style.
— Miles Davis
Harnessing momentum and creating space for creativity
- When you feel like you want to write something, drop everything and do it then and there. If you wait, you always lose the thread.
- On Sat or Sun when you first wake up, don’t check devices at all and write for an hour by hand. Free flow thinking, and circle all the important ideas that come out of it.
- Humans like to complicate everything, but treat creative endeavors with as much importance as a job. Be paradoxically systematic in your life.
Developing your own taste
There is taste in people, visual taste, taste in emotion — and there is taste in acts, taste in morality. Intelligence, as well, is really a kind of taste: taste in ideas. One of the facts to be reckoned with is that taste tends to develop very unevenly. It's rare that the same person has good visual taste and good taste in people and taste in ideas.
— Susan Sontag