Don’t aim at success — the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run—in the long run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.
“Every tiny atom in your body came from a star that exploded long before you were born.”
You Are Stardust teaches kids about the whimsy and interconnectedness of the universe in stunning illustrated dioramas.
Bonus: Amidst the jarring gender gap in science education, this is a project by two women.
How verbal messages progress from the mind of the speaker to the mind of the listener – gorgeous vintage diagram of the auditory pathways linking your brain with your ear.
Huh? Need a better diagram.
Birdseye views of tiny apartments in Hong Kong, via La repubblica
A deep, early love of poetry should be mandatory for all writers.
Most of us are full up with bad stories, boring stories, self-indulgent stories, searing works of unendurable melodrama. We must get all of them our of our system in order to find the good stories that may or may not exist in the fresh water underneath.
You don’t step out of the stream of your life to do your work.
Novel writing, I soon discovered, is like channel swimming: a slow and steady stroke over a long distance in a cold, dark sea.
The ability to write and the ability to teach are not the same, and while I’ve known plenty of people who could do both, there are also plenty of people who can do only one or the other, and plenty who do both who should be doing neither.
Interested in being a better writer? Go buy yourself a copy of “The Collected Stories” by Grace Paley.
If we could learn everything we needed to know about writing fiction by seeing it masterfully executed, we could just stay in bed and read Chekhov.
The answer to how important a master of fine arts degree is to becoming a fiction writer is, of course, not at all.
No one should ever go into debt to study creative writing.
If you wind up boring yourself, you can pretty much bank on the fact that you’re going to bore your reader.
As far as I’m concerned, writer’s block is a myth.
Do you want to do this thing? Sit down and do it.
Mapping LGBT rights in the American workplace.
“If I come up with an idea that may look better as a photo, then my idea’s not good.” ~ Yuko Shimizu
PBS explores the art of illustration, “the finest occupation,” and its evolution as an editorial voice.
Previous PBS Off Book episodes have covered typography, graphic design, product design, art in the age of the internet, book art and papercraft, generative art, the explosion of animated GIFs, LEGO art, the art of film and TV title design, the culture of Reddit, technologies that allow us to see beyond the human eye, logo design, the art of motion graphics and animation, journalism in the age of Twitter, and the art of creative coding.
I wonder if Plath would have been saved had she been born in a different time: in a time when psycho-pharmacologists are no more shameful to visit than hairdressers and women write celebrated personal essays about being bad mothers and cutters and are reclaiming the word slut. Would she have been a riot grrrl, embracing an angry feminist aesthetic? Addicted to Xanax? A blogger for Slate?
How polarity makes water behave strangely
My Brother’s Work – fifty years after Where the Wild Things Are and a year after his death, Maurice Sendak’s tender and bittersweet farewell to the world, wrapped in a love letter to the departed.
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