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Posts tagged "success"

Aug 01, 2014
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May 30, 2014
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Perhaps the answer is not to be too successful at any particular thing: Success can become an albatross for an artist, as it does for those actors who do so well in a particular role that they can never successfully take on any other.
Brian Eno, when asked the secret of artistic longevity

May 02, 2014
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I’m an entertainer, first and foremost, but there’s art involved. And an artist has an obligation to be en route — to be going somewhere. There’s a journey involved, and you don’t know where [it’s going] and that’s the fun. So you’re always going to be seeking and looking and going and trying to challenge yourself. So, without sitting around thinking of that a lot, it drives you and it keeps you trying to be fresh, trying to be new, trying to call on yourself a little more.

Apr 16, 2014
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“Success” (from Krazy Kat)

“Success” (from Krazy Kat)

Mar 16, 2014
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What made The Scarlet Letter a bestseller

Interesting bit from The Writer’s Almanac today:

It was on this day in 1850 that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter, was published. He was living at a time when there was almost no such thing as American literature, in part because the American publishing industry was so behind the times. In order to publish a book, a single printer would edit the manuscript, set the type, operate the printing press, bind the pages into books, and then sell them. It was remarkably inefficient, and so it was almost impossible to produce a best-seller, since so few copies were available to be sold.

But by 1850, books were being printed by machines. Long, continuous sheets of paper were fed into steam-powered printing presses, and factories of workers folded, pressed, and stitched the pages into books. The Scarlet Letter became the first great American novel in part because it was the first novel that could reach a large audience.

…On March 16, 2,500 copies of The Scarlet Letter were published, and they sold out within 10 days.

We think of “the classics” as all inevitable successes, but so often there was a specific cultural context that made or broke them. For contrast, see the fate of Hawthorne’s buddy, Herman Melville.

Nov 24, 2013
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The real ending to Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Aug 05, 2013
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Success is like a mountain that keeps growing ahead of you as you hike it.

Jul 02, 2013
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What do we do now, now that we are happy?
— Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

May 31, 2013
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What Willy Wonka should have said.

  • Willy Wonka: But Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.
  • Charlie Bucket: What happened?
  • Willy Wonka: He had to run a fucking chocolate factory!

May 26, 2013
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For a while, it seemed like I was getting sent this article, “Creative People Say No” at least twice a day. The idea is that creative geniuses say “no” to a lot of requests (like, a psychology professor researching processes of creative genius) in order to get their work done, so if you want to be a creative genius, you have to say no a lot so you can get your work done.

A bunch of people asked me what I thought about it, and I said, “It’s good advice for the rich and famous.”

Ian Bogost explains it nicely, here:


  [Y]ou have to say ‘yes’ for a long while before you can earn the right to say ‘no.’ Even then, you usually can’t say ‘no’ at whim. By the time you can say ‘no’ indiscriminately, then you’re already so super-privileged that being able to say ‘no’ is not a prerequisite of success, but a result of it.


There was a little index card in the back of Steal Like An Artist that didn’t make it into the book that sums up my own point of view: “Be as generous as you can, but selfish enough to get your work done.”

(Thx @ayjay.)

For a while, it seemed like I was getting sent this article, “Creative People Say No” at least twice a day. The idea is that creative geniuses say “no” to a lot of requests (like, a psychology professor researching processes of creative genius) in order to get their work done, so if you want to be a creative genius, you have to say no a lot so you can get your work done.

A bunch of people asked me what I thought about it, and I said, “It’s good advice for the rich and famous.”

Ian Bogost explains it nicely, here:

[Y]ou have to say ‘yes’ for a long while before you can earn the right to say ‘no.’ Even then, you usually can’t say ‘no’ at whim. By the time you can say ‘no’ indiscriminately, then you’re already so super-privileged that being able to say ‘no’ is not a prerequisite of success, but a result of it.

There was a little index card in the back of Steal Like An Artist that didn’t make it into the book that sums up my own point of view: “Be as generous as you can, but selfish enough to get your work done.”

(Thx @ayjay.)

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