Oliver Sacks: I come to from these altered states, if I am lucky, with energy renewed and confused thoughts clarified
“I take a brief lunch break, walk around the block, practice piano for a few minutes, and then have my favorite noon meal of herrings and black bread. The afternoon is spent writing, if I am up to it. I sometimes fall asleep, or into a deep reverie, lying on my couch, and this may put my brain in an “idling” or “default” mode. I let it play with images and thoughts on its own; I come to from these altered states, if I am lucky, with energy renewed and confused thoughts clarified.”
[From author and physician Oliver Sacks, Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals]
Francis Ford Coppola: You work another job and get up at five in the morning and write your script
“…It’s only a few hundred years, if that much, that artists are working with money. Artists never got money. Artists had a patron, either the leader of the state or the duke of Weimar or somewhere, or the church, the pope. Or they had another job. I have another job. I make films. No one tells me what to do. But I make the money in the wine industry. You work another job and get up at five in the morning and write your script.”
Wallace Stevens: Having a job is one of the best things in the world
“In 1916, when he was thirty-six years old, [poet Wallace] Stevens accepted a position at the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, where he remained employed as an insurance lawyer until his death. Far from stifling his creativity, the job seemed to suit Stevens’s temperament and even encourage his poetry. ‘I find that having a job is one of the best things in the world that could happen to me,’ he once said. ‘It introduces discipline and regularity into one’s life. I am just as free as I want to be and of course I have nothing to worry about about money.’”
[from Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals]
Derek Sivers: Do something for love, and something for money
“People with a well-paying job ask my advice because they want to quit to become full-time artists.
But full-time artists ask my advice because they’re finding it impossible to make money….
For both of them, I prescribe the lifestyle of the happiest people I know:
- Have a well-paying job
- Seriously pursue your art for love, not money
Do something for love, and something for money. Don’t try to make one thing satisfy your entire life. …
How nice to not expect your job to fulfill all your emotional needs.
How nice to not taint something you love with the need to make money from it.”
[“How to do what you love and make good money” by Derek Sivers]
Bernard Malamud: The real mystery to crack is you
“There’s no one way – there’s too much drivel about this subject. You’re who you are, not Fitzgerald or Thomas Wolfe. You write by sitting down and writing. There’s no particular time or place – you suit yourself, your nature. How one works, assuming he’s disciplined, doesn’t matter. If he or she is not disciplined, no sympathetic magic will help. The trick is to make time –not steal it – and produce the fiction. If the stories come, you get them written, you’re on the right track. Eventually everyone learns his or her own best way. The real mystery to crack is you.”