Wim Wenders on Art

“… You have to find what you can do better than anyone else and what you have in yourself that no-one else has.”

~ Wim Wenders / Louisiana Channel

Tom Sachs on Work

Can you imagine getting paid really, really well to do something that you didn’t love to do? What a horrible curse that would be.

~ Tom Sachs / Louisiana Channel

Charles Bukowski on Art

Some people like what you do, some people hate what you do but most people don’t give a damn.

~ Charles Bukowski

Richard Ford on Sweating

“… but then I think well, you know, my wish as a writer… is to write masterpieces. Why shouldn’t I work that hard? Why should it be simple? … Why shouldn’t it take four years?… Art is heavy lifting… I don’t mind sweating.”

~ Richard Ford / Louisiana Channel

Louise Glück on Originality

“You have to live your life if you’re going to do original work. Your work will come out of an authentic life …”

~ Louise Glück

Margaret Howell on Work

I hate a job half done. Even if it’s housework, you have to do a thorough job. I don’t have a dishwasher because I prefer to do it myself.

~ Margaret Howell / Guardian, 3rd October 2020

Tony Fouhse on Ambition

Now I’m retired and my ambitions are waning. I’m content to photograph personal projects, write about photography, walk my dog, garden, read, cook and nap. A most fulfilling retirement, seeking fame and fortune an artifact from my previous life.

~ Tony Fouhse

Stephen King on Money

The money isn’t very important. The idea is to take care of your family and have enough left over to buy books and go to the movies once a week. As a goal in life, ‘getting rich’ strikes me as fairly ludicrous. The goal is to do what God made you for and not hurt anyone if you can help it.

~ Stephen King / NYT, August 13, 2000

Barbara Ehrenreich on Slavery

What you don’t necessarily realize when you start selling your time by the hour is that what you’re really selling is your life.

~ Barbara Ehrenreich

Janan Ganesh on Happiness

It takes minimal life experience to know that happiness comes from a small number of disproportionately important things. Perhaps as few as two. One is a fulfilling job. The other is a vital private life, which could mean, according to taste, devotion to one person or what George Michael hailed as “fast love”.

~ Janan Ganesh / FT, February 7 2020

Edward Lucas on Flow

But saving my mental energies helps me achieve the day’s greatest pleasure: periods of intense, unbroken concentration.

~ Edward Lucas / Times, February 03, 2020

Brian Cox on the Long Haul

‘…It’s the long haul for you. You’ve got to understand that. You will have moderate success in your career. But it is the long haul that counts.’ And he was absolutely right.

~ Brian Cox / Financial Times, 17th January 2020

Albert Camus on Poverty

“What could a man want that is better than poverty? I do not say misery, any more than I mean the work without hope of the modern proletarian. But I do not see that one could desire more than poverty with an active leisure.”

~ Albert Camus

Seneca on Bustle

“For love of bustle is not industry, – it is only the restlessness of a hunted mind”

~ Seneca

Robert Harris on Writing

“It’s a profession, a job,” he says. “There’s a terrible preciousness about writing. I think that if you write, you’ve just got to get on and write.”

~ Robert Harris / Financial Times, 20th December 2019

Seneca on Work

“Nothing is so certain as that the evils of idleness can be shaken off by hard work.”

~ Seneca

Paul Theroux on Being a Writer

And what was it that I most liked about my work? That I had no boss, no employees, no rivals, no competitors—the freedom of being a writer? That it was a way of dealing with my life, transforming my experiences, finding ways to understand it—recording life’s joys, making its tribulations bearable, and also, in writing, easing the passage of time? Making a living this way, my own way, self-employed—that was something to like.

Paul Theroux / On the Plain of Snakes

Antonio Pierro on Routines

Three meals a day. Work hard. Keep yourself clean. Get enough sleep. What else is there?

~ Antonio Pierro

Tsunetomo Yamamoto on the Shortness of Life

“Human life is truly a short affair. It is better to live doing the things that you like. It is foolish to live within this dream of a world seeing unpleasantness and doing only things that you do not like.”

~ Tsunetomo Yamamoto / Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Aaron Copland on Art

“The main thing is to be satisfied with your work yourself. It’s useless to have an audience happy if you are not happy.”

~ Aaron Copland

Gore Vidal on Boredom

“I have thrown away a number of successful careers out of boredom.”

~ Gore Vidal

Simon Kuper on Ageing

“But ideally, after ambition has faded, you love your trade for its own sake.”

~ Simon Kuper / Financial Times, 10th October, 2019

Jim Harrison on Work

“Eventually everyone knows if you did the job or not.”

~ Jim Harrison

Ernest Hemingway on Juice

“As long as you can start, you are all right. The juice will come.”
~ Ernest Hemingway