On Writing

“Someone once said that there are things about which one ought to write a great deal or nothing at all.” – My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, page 330

“You communicate in a public arena; everything else is puerile and cowardly.” – My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, page 354

“…[P]rofessors and others engaged in studying and writing about society and the environment… are not members of the accumulating class, the elite, but scholars and writers are in most cases (not all) strongly bound to that class, and for all their intellectual penetration, discipline, ad honesty, they tend to think, say, and write down ideas that are useful to the elite.” – J.M Blaut, “History Inside Out,” The Colonizer’s Model of the World: Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History, page 33

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury

“Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.” – Douglas Adams

“So if you see me and I’ve joined the roller derby
Know that I’ve become something I always wanted to be
Fast and strong and part of a team
Teacher, thanks for everything
You said ‘If you’re breathing you are living
If you’re living you are learning
So write and write and keep on writing
Just make sure your life’s exciting
Write and write and keep on writing
Just make sure your life’s exciting
Write and write and keep on writing
Just make sure your life’s exciting'”
– Kimya Dawson

“I tell stories. That’s what we all do there, in ceremonies of belief and disbelief, of wonder and surprise. We tell stories about evolution or the decline and fall of the Roman Empire; we imagine the drama of a Big Bang or a Great War; we sing songs about justice and freedom or chaos and order. And we make up new stories and songs. We call the old ones teaching, and the new ones research. But whatever we call them, we are in an ancient tradition of elders, experts, eccentrics and enthusiasts, telling tales and singing songs.” – Edward Chamberlin

“In a sense at the end of all the spectra are those who are both doing the moving and the communicating and who are in some way in a position of control in relation to it – the jet-setters, the ones sending and receiving the faxes and the e-mail, holding the international conference calls, the ones distributing films, controlling the news, organizing the investments and the international currency transactions. These are the groups who are really in a sense in charge of time-space compression, who can really use it and turn it to advantage, whose power and influence it very definitely increases. On its more prosaic fringes this group probably includes a fair number of western academics and journalists – those, in other words, who write most about it.” – Doreen Massey

“One can, of course, take the position that we don’t care about the problems people face today, and want to think about a possible tomorrow. OK, but then don’t pretend to have any interest in human beings and their fate, and stay in the seminar room and intellectual coffee house with other privileged people. Or one can take a much more humane position: I want to work, today, to build a better society for tomorrow – the classical anarchist position, quite different from the slogans in the question. That’s exactly right, and it leads directly to support for the people facing problems today: for enforcement of health and safety regulation, provision of national health insurance, support systems for people who need them, etc. That is not a sufficient condition for organizing for a different and better future, but it is a necessary condition. Anything else will receive the well-merited contempt of people who do not have the luxury to disregard the circumstances in which they live, and try to survive.” – Noam Chomsky

“To make this world work it takes all different kinds.
We have all different tastes, different strengths, different minds,
So it doesn’t make sense to generalize
And it doesn’t make sense to judge with our eyes.
We need more compassion, we need to be kind
If you open your heart you might like what you find.
‘Cause there are some mean bus drivers, but there’s some nice bus drivers
And there are some nice cops in Madison, Wisconsin.
And there’s some nice teachers, and there’s some mean teachers,
Just because you have a mean teacher doesn’t mean all teachers suck.
And no one is nice all the time, no one is mean all the time
Think about what someone’s going through that’s making them be mean to you
Maybe their pet gerbil died and they are really sad inside,
Or maybe they got in a fight with someone that they really like,
Maybe they are really shy and don’t know to socialize
They just want to run and hide, not saying that it’s justified
But if we learn to empathize the resentments will vaporize
Situations metamorphize before out very eyes.
Then the need to stereotype will become outdated when we realize everyone
Is really complicated.
We are all so complicated.”
– Kimya Dawson

Go to the end of the path until you get to the gate.
Go through the gate and head straight out towards the horizon.
Keep going towards the horizon.
Sit down and have a rest every now and again,
But keep on going, just keep on with it.
Keep on going as far as you can.
That’s how you get there.
Michael Leunig

More on creativity at Brain Pickings.


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