Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill — more of each
than you have — inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.
1. First of all, don’t worry about the money. Love the process. You don’t know when it’s gonna happen. Louis C.K. started hitting in his 40s; he’d been doing it for 20 years. And don’t settle. I don’t want to ever hear, “It’s good enough.” Then it’s not good enough. Don’t ever underestimate your audience. They can tell when it isn’t true. Also: Ignore your competition. A Mafia guy in Vegas gave me this advice: “Run your own race, put on your blinders.” Don’t worry about how others are doing. Something better will come.” – Joan Rivers
2. In short, this has been my strategy, though I’m worse at ‘pruning’ than I should be. Consume widely, create with focus, and you’ll see that the novel connections and solutions will follow naturally. You will have the broad base of material and information that allows for new, interesting applications paired with the practiced skill of a technician in your execution. -Erich Campbell, Create with Focus
3. The only thing that makes one an artist is making art. And that requires the precise opposite of hanging out; a deeply lonely and unglamorous task of tolerating oneself long enough to push something out. ―David Rakoff, Half Empty
4. Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. -Franz Kafka
5. Inspiration is for amateurs–the rest of us just show up and get to work. – Chuck Close (painter)
“Writers don’t write from experience, though many are resistant to admit that they don’t. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.”
– American activist, writer, educator and commentator, Nikki Giovanni