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Advice from the Experts

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Catmull, Ira Glass, Kierkegaard, Einstein, T.S. Eliot ...

Twilight Zone Creator Rod Serling on Where Good Ideas Come From. A 5-Step Technique for Producing Ideas circa 1939. The Taste Gap: Ira Glass on the Secret of Creative Success, Animated in Living Typography. Einstein on Fairy Tales and Education. Being vs. becoming, Wendell Berry on solitude and our creative demons, the best biographies, memoirs, and history books of the year, and more. Hey Peggy Fleming!

Being vs. becoming, Wendell Berry on solitude and our creative demons, the best biographies, memoirs, and history books of the year, and more

If you missed last week's edition – the best art, design, and photography books of the year, how Rilke can help us befriend our mortality and live more fully, a tender wordless story about how we ennoble each other in friendship, and more – you can catch up right here. And if you're enjoying this, please consider supporting with a modest donation – every little bit helps, and comes hugely appreciated.

Wendell Berry on Solitude and Why Pride and Despair Are the Two Great Enemies of Creative Work "One can't write directly about the soul," Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary. Ray Bradbury on Writing, Emotion vs. Intelligence, and the Core of Creativity. By Maria Popova “You can only go with loves in this life.”

Ray Bradbury on Writing, Emotion vs. Intelligence, and the Core of Creativity

Between 1973 and 1974, journalist James Day hosted the short-lived but wonderful public television interview series Day at Night. Among his guests was the inimitable Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920–June 5, 2012) — beloved writer, man of routine, tireless champion of space exploration, patron saint of public libraries, passionate proponent of doing what you love and writing with joy. Highlights from the interview, which has been kindly digitized by CUNY TV, are transcribed below. On the misunderstood, and often dismissed, value of the fantasy genre: The ability to fantasize is the ability to survive, and the ability to fantasize is the ability to grow. On the scope-expanding quality of science fiction, something Isaac Asimov has attested to as well: The great thing about growing up with science fiction is that you have an interest in everything.

On the formative influence of fairy tales and Greek myths A resounding secular “Amen!” Mark McGuinness. Mark Mark McGuinness I’m a poet, coach and creative entrepreneur, living in London, UK and coaching creatives worldwide via the magic of the internet.

Mark McGuinness

Why creativity? I’ve always loved creating. An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety: Alan Watts on Happiness and How to Live with Presence. By Maria Popova Wisdom on overcoming the greatest human frustration from the pioneer of Eastern philosophy in the West.

An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety: Alan Watts on Happiness and How to Live with Presence

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard wrote in her timeless reflection on presence over productivity — a timely antidote to the central anxiety of our productivity-obsessed age. Indeed, my own New Year’s resolution has been to stop measuring my days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence.

But what, exactly, makes that possible? This concept of presence is rooted in Eastern notions of mindfulness — the ability to go through life with crystalline awareness and fully inhabit our experience — largely popularized in the West by British philosopher and writer Alan Watts (January 6, 1915–November 16, 1973), who also gave us this fantastic meditation on the life of purpose. If to enjoy even an enjoyable present we must have the assurance of a happy future, we are “crying for the moon.” Pixar Cofounder Ed Catmull on Failure and Why Fostering a Fearless Culture Is the Key to Groundbreaking Creative Work. By Maria Popova Why the greatest enemy of creative success is the attempt to fortify against failure.

Pixar Cofounder Ed Catmull on Failure and Why Fostering a Fearless Culture Is the Key to Groundbreaking Creative Work

“Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before,” Neil Gaiman urged in his commencement-address-turned-manifesto-for-the-creative life. “The chief trick to making good mistakes is not to hide them — especially not from yourself,” philosopher Daniel Dennett asserted in his magnificent meditation on the dignity and art-science of making mistakes. What makes Catmull, who created Pixar along with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter and is now president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation, particularly compelling is his yin-yang balance of seeming opposites — he is incredibly intelligent in a rationally-driven way yet sensitive to the poetic, introspective yet articulate, has a Ph.D. in computer science but is also the recipient of five Academy Awards for his animation work.

Ed Catmull (Photograph by Deborah Coleman, Pixar) Donating = Loving. Kierkegaard on Anxiety & Creativity. By Maria Popova “Because it is possible to create — creating one’s self, willing to be one’s self… — one has anxiety.

Kierkegaard on Anxiety & Creativity

One would have no anxiety if there were no possibility whatever.” “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer,” Anaïs Nin famously wrote. T. S. Eliot on Idea Incubation, Inhibition, and the Mystical Quality of Creativity + a Rare Recording. 31 Quotes That Will Give You Chills.

The Definitive Manifesto for Handling Haters: Anne Lamott on Priorities and How We Keep Ourselves Small by People-Pleasing. Amy Tan: Where does creativity hide?