Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.
You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life.
You’re only going to be as good as the stuff you surround yourself with.
Instead, chew on one thinker — writer, artist, activist, role model — you really love. Study everything there is to know about that thinker.
Seeing yourself as part of a creative lineage will help you feel less alone as you start making your own stuff.
You have to be curious about the world in which you live. Look things up. Chase down every reference. Go deeper than anybody else — that’s how you’ll get ahead.
Don’t ask a question before you Google it.
It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.
In my experience, it’s in the act of making things and doing our work that we figure out who we are.
You’re ready. Start making stuff.
Ask anybody doing truly creative work, and they’ll tell you the truth: They don’t know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing. Every day.
You start out as a phony and become real.
Fake it ’til you make it.
Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use — do the work you want to see done.
Work that only comes from the head isn’t any good. Watch a great musician play a show. Watch a great leader give a speech.
I have stared long enough at the glowing flat rectangles of computer screens. Let us give more time for ding things in the real world … plant a plant, walk the dogs, read a real book, go to the opera.
It’s the side project that really take off.
Practice productive procrastination.
Take time to mess around. Get lost. Wander. You never know where it’s going to lead you.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. — Steve Jobs
It’s so important to have a hobby. A hobby is something creative that’s just for you. You don’t try to make money or get famous off it, you just do it because it makes you happy.
Find people on the Internet who love the same things as you and connect with them. Share things with them.
Travel makes the world look new, and then the world looks new, our brains work harder.
I think bad weather leads to better art. You don’t want to go outside, so you stay inside and work. (Limitation in life does the same thing for you.)
You’re only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with. In the digital space, that means following the best people online — the people who are way smarter and better than you, the people who are doing the really interesting work. Pay attention to what they’re talking about, what they’re doing, what they’re linking to.
Find the most talented person in the room, and if it’s not you, go stand next to him. Hang out with him. Try to be helpful. If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.
Complain about the way other people make software by making software.
Make something and dedicate it to your hero. Answer a question they’ve asked, solve a problem for them, or improve on their work and share it online.
Be boring. It’s the only way to get work done.
Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.
The thing is: It takes a lot of energy to be creative. You don’t have that energy if you waste it on other stuff.
A day job gives you money, a connection to the world, and a routine. A day job puts you in the path of other human beings. Learn from them, steal from them.
Establishing and keeping a routine can be even more important than having a lot of time. You have to stay in the groove. When you get out of the groove, you start to dread the work, because you know it’s going to suck for a while — it’s going to suck until you get back into the flow.
Figure out what time you can carve out, what time you can steal, and stick to your routine. Do the work every day, no matter what. No holidays, no sick days. Don’t stop.
Get a calendar. Fill the boxes. Don’t break the chain.
Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities.
The way to get over creative block is simply place some constraints on yourself.
You must embrace your limitations and keep moving.