Books and cats. I now know that it is, in fact, possible to have it all. (at Aardvark Books)
Iyanla Vanzant (via we-are-all-1-love)
In honor of #readwomen2014 – an effort to equalize the gender imbalance in our collective reading habits – here are 14 fantastic, timeless reads by women:
- Annie Dillard on presence over productivity
- Joan Didion on self-respect
- Susan Sontag on photography as aesthetic consumerism and a form of modern violence
- Virginia Woolf on the creative benefits of keeping a diary
- Helen Keller on optimism
- Alexandra Horowitz on the blinders of attention
- Anaïs Nin on why emotional excess is essential to creativity
- Hannah Arendt on how bureaucracy fuels violence
- Jennifer Finney Boylan on what it’s like to be a transgender parent
- Anissa Ramirez on saving science education
- Jeanette Winterson on adoption and how we use storytelling to save ourselves
- Dani Shapiro on the pleasures and perils of the creative life
- Virginia Woolf on how to read a book
- Susan Sontag on literature and freedom
Artwork above by Joanna Walsh
"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper."
- W.B. Yeats
Until we have met the monsters in ourselves, we keep trying to slay them in the outer world. And we find that we cannot. For all darkness in the world stems from darkness in the heart. And it is there that we must do our work.
What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.
Thomas Merton (via zenhumanism)
A gem from yesterday’s Public Speaking Workshop for Women - advice for introverts by Hilary Mason, delivered by the lovely Diana Kimball (at GitHub HQ 3.0)
The world is being circled by ideas. You’re just the portal for them to come through. If it’s not you, it might be someone else. Does it matter? More ideas will come. Better ones, maybe.
(From Denise Jacobs’ talk White Space Creativity. Just saw her speak at Github’s Public Speaking for Women event yesterday. Mind = blown… by all the supportive, creative, intelligent, amazing women I met. Grateful.)
The tension built up as tiny doge kept staring at the treat jar as if it would pop open by itself. The cat glanced in his direction lazily, knowing she could knock him off the table with her tail if the situation got out of hand. But doge was getting desperately hungry. How could he sneak past the big kitty?
The psychological origins of waiting (… and waiting, and waiting) to work
Me, a procrastinator?
Yes. The worst. Sometimes I wonder how I’ve ever gotten anything done.
This article (adapted from Megan McArdle’s book The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success) explains a lot about what I already knew but kind of refused to acknowledge. Because it’s much nicer to think you have a growth mindset than a fixed one, especially if you’re a supposed to be an expert in learning from failure, trial and error and all that cool stuff.
The story of my life (except set in Finnish class before English):
"Over the years, I developed a theory about why writers are such procrastinators: We were too good in English class. This sounds crazy, but hear me out.
Most writers were the kids who easily, almost automatically, got A’s in English class. —- Where others read haltingly, they were plowing two grades ahead in the reading workbooks. These are the kids who turned in a completed YA novel for their fifth-grade project. It isn’t that they never failed, but at a very early age, they didn’t have to fail much; their natural talent kept them at the head of the class.
This teaches a very bad, very false lesson: that success in work mostly depends on natural talent. Unfortunately, when you are a professional writer, you are competing with all the other kids who were at the top of their English class. Your stuff may not—indeed, probably won’t—be the best anymore.
If you’ve spent most of your life cruising ahead on natural ability, doing what came easily and quickly, every word you write becomes a test of just how much ability you have, every article a referendum on how good a writer you are. As long as you have not written that article, that speech, that novel, it could still be good. Before you take to the keys, you are Proust and Oscar Wilde and George Orwell all rolled up into one delicious package.”
AND: “Most writers manage to get by because, as the deadline creeps closer, their fear of turning in nothing eventually surpasses their fear of turning in something terrible.”
(Source: , via explore-blog)