Read all the things

If you are going to learn from other writers don’t only read the great ones, because if you do that you’ll get so filled with despair and the fear that you’ll never be able to do anywhere near as well as they did that you’ll stop writing. I recommend that you read a lot of bad stuff, too. It’s very encouraging. “Hey, I can do so much better than this.” Read the greatest stuff but read the stuff that isn’t so great, too. Great stuff is very discouraging.
— Edward Albee


Because it is possible to create … one has anxiety. One would have no anxiety if there were no possibility whatever creating, actualising one’s possibilities … always involves destroying the status quo, destroying old patterns within oneself. Progressively destroying what one has clung to from childhood on, and creating new and original forms and ways of living. If one does not do this, one is refusing to grow, refusing to avail himself of his possibilties; one is shirking his responsibility to himself.
— Søren Kierkegaard


When I was five years old my mother always told me happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.
— John Lennon

Art is inside your self

Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences. (Roy Ascott’s phrase.) That solves a lot of problems: we don’t have to argue whether photographs are art, or whether performances are art, or whether Carl Andre’s bricks or Andrew Serranos’s piss or Little Richard’s ‘Long Tall Sally’ are art, because we say, ‘Art is something that happens, a process, not a quality, and all sorts of things can make it happen.’ … [W]hat makes a work of art ‘good’ for you is not something that is already ‘inside’ it, but something that happens inside you — so the value of the work lies in the degree to which it can help you have the kind of experience that you call art.
— Brian Eno