Elizabeth Gilbert — her book “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear,” which is part memoir, part how-to for living a life that’s less routine and more curiosity-driven.
A few notes from the interview:
–Greek word: Eudaimonia — the happiness that comes when you are engaged with your creativity at the highest level.
–We more commonly call it “being in the zone” or “a state of flow”
Gilbert on passion and vocation — scrap that and “focus on the tiny, friendly impulse of curiosity which is within all of us”
Her friend who takes up ice skating at age 40… “this is the only thing that makes her feel so alive…”
Shimer College: the worst school in America?
This tiny, eccentric institution in Chicago was just voted the worst place to study in America. But does Shimer, which shuns lectures and has no societies or clubs, deserve such an accolade? Jon Ronson went there to investigate
Why I Am Teaching a Course Called “Wasting Time on the Internet”
“The idea for this class arose from my frustration with reading endless indictments of the Web for making us dumber. I’ve been feeling just the opposite. We’re reading and writing more than we have in a generation, but we are reading and writing differently—skimming, parsing, grazing, bookmarking, forwarding, retweeting, reblogging, and spamming language—in ways that aren’t yet recognized as literary.”
“I want to mention here that my latest favorite band, _____ , all have day jobs and don’t even try to make money from their music. And if we ever get an unconditional basic income, we will get to listen to millions of people who don’t have to compromise … ”
— Ran Prieur, Oct 17 2014 ranprieur.com
Bock: “Humans are by nature creative beings, but not by nature logical, structured-thinking beings. Those are skills you have to learn. One of the things that makes people more effective is if you can do both.”
Filed under creativity, jobs
IN INDIA, THE INVENTOR OF A MACHINE TO MAKE SANITARY PADS:
“Luckily I’m not educated,” he tells students. “If you act like an illiterate man, your learning will never stop… Being uneducated, you have no fear of the future.”
AT GOOGLE, THE CREATOR OF GMAIL:
“Very often, if you do something new, the actual feedback people will say is, ‘This is what we tried before and it doesn’t and won’t work,'” he says. “If you’re naive, you may not even realize that it’s been tried and didn’t work,” he says. “We tend to overlearn from the past. Just because something didn’t work in the past, doesn’t mean that it can’t work in the future–especially in technology where things are constantly changing. Maybe the technology changed, the world has changed, or you’re just simply taking a different approach. All these people [at Google] were telling me that it was a bad idea and it would fail,” he says. “But I didn’t really care, I thought they were all wrong and tried it anyway–and it worked.”
Ignorance Is the Mother of Invention
“The truth is I never tried to come up with a new style; I was just never taught the way you’re supposed to do it. When you’re never taught the way you’re supposed to do things, you find your own path. Story is all I care about, I’m not a good enough writer, so I needed the images to hide behind. Embracing my ignorance is what yielded my style.”
“I am 57 and I am a programmer, the same way Martin Scorcese is 70 and is a movie director. Or Ron Howard is 59, and Rob Reiner is 66. And that’s just film.”
— Dave Winer
Some of us adults are a bit stuck on writing. Don’t get me wrong, writing of all types in the 21st century is still tremendously important. But there are some other forms of communication most schooling seems to have forgotten about. Well, not exactly forgotten… more likely in more cases not feeling up to the challenge.
– Audio (Radio Programs, Music, Internet: podcast only productions)
– Video (Movies, Shorts, Commercials, Internet: Video blogs/reviews/youtube)
Cheap computing power and the interwebs have brought tools of creation, collaboration and distribution to the 99% that would have been unthinkable to even the “professionals” of only just half a generation ago working in expensive studios.
And of course, being able to organize one’s thoughts OR produce a creative or compelling product is still what it is all about. That’s no different than with writing — all have in common the ability to sit down and collect one thoughts to put together something a little different than live performance or “face-to-face” (or Facetime) communication.
That’s the real question… what do you want to say?
So get to it people (I include myself of course…) Writing isn’t everything. It’s just one way. I would say it’s “just the beginning” except that I don’t think the order is clearcut either as it’s now possible to use things like an $150 iPod Touch to film, edit and publish videos before one is even able to write well or much (or at all). A and his friends can do this. And sure, there is still expensive editing equipment and methods one can maybe learn best from someone who is doing it. But don’t underestimate what one can do with 10,000 hours of one’s own time and a FINAL CUT PRO FOR DUMMIES type of book and explanatory youtube walkthrus and tutorials.