One of the things that really hurt Apple was after I left, John Sculley got a very serious disease. And that disease — I’ve seen other people get it, too — it’s the disease of thinking that having a great idea is really ninety percent of the work. And if you just tell people, “Here’s this great idea,” then of course they can go off and make it happen. The problem with that is that there’s a tremendous amount of craftsmanship between having a great idea and having a great product.
Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.
“As the First Cameraman for the United States of America, Arun Chaudhary filmed President Barack Obama all over the world. Luckily he captured these backstage moments for your viewing pleasure.” (via)
I sit down religiously every morning, I sit down for eight hours every day — and the sitting down is all.
Joseph Conrad, letter to Edward Garnett, Mar. 29, 1898 (via)
Then Roth, who, the world would learn sixteen days later, was retiring from writing, said, in an even tone, with seeming sincerity, “Yeah, this is great. But I would quit while you’re ahead. Really, it’s an awful field. Just torture. Awful. You write and write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it’s not any good. I would say just stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself. That’s my advice to you.”
I managed, “It’s too late, sir. There’s no turning back. I’m in.”
Nodding slowly, he said to me, “Well then, good luck.”
Julian Tepper, “In Which Philip Roth Gave Me Life Advice”
In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.
I believe the novella is the perfect form of prose fiction.
New ad campaign for Defending Jacob in Poland. Akcyza! (That means exciting. I think.)
A cool new advertising campaign for Defending Jacob to run in and around Paris, including the Metro, and train stations all over France. (Courtesy of my French publisher, Michel Lafon.)
Gay Talese gives a tour of his office and discusses his writing habits (via Austin Kleon)
There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation. Full half the time of such a man goes to the deciding, or regretting, of matters which ought to be so ingrained in him as practically not to exist for his consciousness at all. If there be such daily duties not yet ingrained in any one of my readers, let him begin this very hour to set the matter right.
William James, Habit
Coney Island 1952