“It’s OK not to be a genius, whatever that is, if there even is such a thing…the creative life may or may not be the apex of human civilization, but either way it’s not what I thought it was. It doesn’t make you special and sparkly. You don’t have to walk alone. You can work in an office — I’ve worked in offices for the past 15 years and written five novels while doing it. The creative life is forgiving: You can betray it all you want, again and again, and no matter how many times you do, it will always take you back.”—Lev Grossman manages to smash “you don’t have to be a genius” and “keep your day job” into his great essay, "How Not to Write a Novel" (his book, The Magician’s Land, is out this week)
“The biggest obstacle to creativity is attachment to outcome. As soon as you become attached to a specific outcome, you feel compelled to control and manipulate what you’re doing. And in the process you shut yourself off to other possibilities.
I got a call from someone who wanted me to lead a workshop on creativity. He needed to tell his management exactly what tools people would come away with. I told him I didn’t know. I couldn’t give him a promise, because then I’d become attached to an outcome — which would defeat the purpose of any creative workshop.’
It’s hard for corporations to understand that creativity is not just about succeeding. It’s about experimenting and discovering.”—Gordon MacKenzie. (via nedhepburn)
“There’s a certain assumption that when a man tells the truth, it’s the truth. But when I go before the jury to tell the truth, I have to negotiate how I’m going to be perceived. There’s a suspicion around a woman’s truth. My story, it’s so big, it sounded like too big a can of worms, and I was like, who would believe me? But then I realized: other women would believe me.”—Kathleen Hanna, The Punk Singer (via christinefriar)
“I went home and asked my mother if I could be called Zoe. I remember she was cooking, and in her Nigerian accent she said, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘Nobody can pronounce it.’ Without missing a beat, she said, ‘If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.’”—
Stop calling things that people genuinely enjoy that you don’t approve of based on your own stupid culture metrics “guilty pleasures.” Stop saying “guilty pleasures” all together. It’s belittling and signifies such a lack of respect for others and the content they enjoy.
When I read Kylie and Kendall Jenner’s new YA book it will be with 100% pleasure and 0% guilt, thank you very much.
“Part of the obstinate disbelief seems to be a need to protect the privileges of sexism: associating misogyny with a mass murder would mean having to recognize just how dangerous misogyny really is and - if you’re partaking - giving it up. Some men want to believe that they can continue to call women “sluts” and make rape jokes without being part of a broader cultural impact. But they can’t: sexism, from everyday harassment to inequality enshrined in policy, pollutes our society as a whole and limits our ability to create real justice for women.”—This entire piece from Jessica Valenti is great, but this in particular stuck with me.