Category Archives: inspiration

Be a Strange Duck

I can build a motorcycle, I can fly a model airplane, I can throw somebody out of a bar, I can wrestle a pig and I can program a computer. I’m a strange duck, that’s for sure.

Iowa pig farmer Carl Edgar Blake II

(Via A Continuous Lean.)

Related post: Specialization Is for Insects

Gay Talese’s Office

(Via Ted Gioia.)

Previously: “I Don’t Use Notebooks. I Use Shirt Boards” and Dressed for a Dungeon and The Species of Tailoring Is Threatened by the Outside World

Alone With the Gods

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery, isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.

—Charles Bukowski, Factotum

Writing Is a Business

Writing is a business and should be practiced as such. On days when you think you can’t possibly write a line you do it anyhow.

Henry Denker

Yes and No

Scott Raab: A lot of folks worry that if they aren’t available or don’t say yes, they’ll stop getting asked.
Bill Murray: If you keep saying yes, they’ll stop asking you, too.

(Bill Murray: The ESQ+A.)

Evelyn Waugh Greatly Regrets

(Via Shaun Usher.)

Related post: “Edmund Wilson Regrets…

Not Dead Yet

This generation is so dead. You ask a kid, ‘What are you doing this Saturday?’ and they’ll be playing video games or watching cable, instead of building model cars or airplanes or doing something creative. Kids today never say, ‘Man, I’m really into remote-controlled steamboats.’ They never say that.

Jack White

Well, Jack, meet Caine and his arcade:

Key to the Whole Thing

If you don’t take the money, they can’t tell you what to do. That’s the key to the whole thing.

Bill Cunningham

To Resolve Project

Chris Streger’s To Resolve Project:

“I decided to ask as many talented designers I knew (or didn’t know) to create a resolution for the new year as an iPhone background.”

(Via Coursekit.)

Money or Freedom, Choose One

Today on reddit, comedian and television auteur Louis C.K. took questions. It being reddit, the thing’s a pain in the ass to read, but I particularly liked this exchange:

Q: How on earth were you able to gain the incredible amount of authorial control that you have over Louie? Have you had to battle with FX over any particular jokes/concepts/creative choices?

A: I got it by demanding it and refusing to do the show any other way at all and by having the leverage that I was completely willing to walk away without doing the show and by agreeing to an extremely low budget so that they could offset the risk of giving me this freedom because they are risking less money.

Elsewhere Louis talks about how he edits his TV show by himself on his MacBook.

The whole thing reminded me of Bill Cunningham’s sage advice, “If you don’t take the money, they can’t tell you what to do.”