The inner itch to “just do it” is the artist’s compass.
Although as artists we make maps, we seldom find them. An artistic career does not resemble the linear step-by-step climb of a banker’s career trajectory. Art is not linear, and neither is the artist’s life. There are no certain routes. You do not become a novelist by moving from A to B to C.
Julia Cameron, Walking in this World
The reward is in the making of the thing. Do it for that.
Some of us know how we came by our fortune and some of us don’t, but we wear it all the same. There’s only one question worth asking now: How do we aim to live with it?
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
Art matters. It is not simply a leisure activity for the privileged or a hobby for the eccentric. It is a practical good for the world. The work of the artist … is an homage to the value of human life, and it is vital to society. Art is a sacred expression of human creativity that shares the same ontological value as all human work.
Michael Gungor, The Crowd, the Critic, and the Muse
Facts bring us to knowledge but stories lead to wisdom.
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, “Introduction” to Kitchen Table Wisdom
The great novels we get in the future are not going to be those that the public thinks it wants, or those that critics demand. They are going to be the kind of novels that interest the novelist. And the novels that interest the novelist are those that have not already been written. They are those that put the greatest demands on him, that require him to operate at the maximum of his intelligence and his talents, and to be true to the particularities of his own vocation.
Writing is a lot like hunting or ocean fishing. You go out when it’s cold and wet and dark, armed and alert, and most of the time, you get nothing.
Read the rest of the interview here.