• "I am here for you freelancers where every day is a new war; I am here for you day-jobbers where it’s all the same old battle and then family at night and you’re too tired to work on the story and all you want to do is watch TV. I see you and I want you to know that you’re okay. That we all fight this battle in different ways, and I know you’re doing the best you can. Living is hard. Creating is harder. I am here for you on the weeks you write zero words and the weeks you only write 500 and the weeks it all flows out of you like salt water and you’ve written 10,000. I see you when you look back over it and wonder if any of it is any damn good at all. Keep it. It’s good. Keep going. You can edit when you are done." There is no expiration date. This was good.
  • "We are defining a story, and this will be the context for the music, and music will always be about that context. If the story of my music was like, “Yeah, I download illegal software and I make a hundred tracks and ten are good, and I’ll always do it while I’m on the train or the bus, and I have headphones on and I just make music all the time,” it would raise a question: ‘What is inspiring you?’" This leapt out at me and smacked me around the chops a bit. Smashing interview with Nils Frahm about his recent collaboration with Ólafur Arnalds. (Also, I did not realise how the Korg PS-3100 did polyphony. Blimey.)
  • "Even as the middle class disappears as an actual economic category, the inspirational tales of the new creative class and its artistic dupes portray the honest and loyal white-collar worker as the new kulak, an enemy fit only to be destroyed.  Ordinariness is the greatest heresy; existence is the gravest crime; providing for one’s family and future is the ultimate betrayal.  The villain of the story is never a successful capitalist (who is, as always, sacrosanct) or a jealous laborer (who is, as always, invisible), but a man or a woman who fails to pursue his or her most special and wonderful dream, thus depriving the world of not only the salvation of art, but also the inevitable financial gain that always comes from following that star." This whole post is cracking.
  • Yes, all of this. Especially:

    "10) be encouraged to think of the arts as including or involving investigation, invention, discovery, play and co-operation and that these happen both within the actual making and doing but also in the talk, commentary and critical dialogue that goes on around the activity itself."

    And: this applies not just to the arts but all forms of craft, making, and creating. To be honest, this applies so much to that whole Year Of Code nonsense – much more so than the abstract utility of things. "Code is neither superior nor inferior to anything else that goes on in schools". Yep, that. I am very fond of Michael Rosen; by which, I mean, I admire him a great deal.

  • "Had our correspondent developed the gift of foresight? No. He really had heard these stories before. Spend a few moments on Google and you will find that the tale of how Procter & Gamble developed the Swiffer is a staple of marketing literature. Bob Dylan is endlessly cited in discussions of innovation, and you can read about the struggles surrounding the release of “Like a Rolling Stone” in textbooks like “The Fundamentals of Marketing” (2007). As for 3M, the decades-long standing ovation for the company’s creativity can be traced all the way back to “In Search of Excellence” (1982), one of the most influential business books of all time. In fact, 3M’s accidental invention of the Post-it note is such a business-school chestnut that the ignorance of those who don’t know the tale is a joke in the 1997 movie “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.”" This is a brilliant article on the literature – and culture – of talking about 'creativity'.
  • "Why doesn’t popular fiction encourage writers as entertainingly skilful as this? Because we do not value the skillset itself, only the story it mediates. We long ago separated the skillset out and donated it to literary fiction. Danny MacAskill doesn’t tell a story. He just is. Indeed, by the look of it, he just is the skillset. As a result I cry every time I watch him perform, because the performance is so much more intense than anything I’ve ever made." Great writing, by a great writer, about a great performer. Perfect.
  • This is a great piece of writing from Frank Chimero, if only because the thing it emphasises is not a brutal the-work-above-all-else approach, but a gentle talk on the same idea. And the thing I'm slowly shifting towards in the manner of my work (if not always the practice of it) is a particular kind of quiet gentleness: be kind; work hard; keep going. Gentle is underrated, and gentle is not the same as easy or soft-touch. It has value for all involved. Also: I loved the point where he wrote "you have to earn those words". Yes.
  • This is a great piece of writing from Frank Chimero, if only because the thing it emphasises is not a brutal the-work-above-all-else approach, but a gentle talk on the same idea. And the thing I'm slowly shifting towards in the manner of my work (if not always the practice of it) is a particular kind of quiet gentleness: be kind; work hard; keep going. Gentle is underrated, and gentle is not the same as easy or soft-touch. It has value for all involved. Also: I loved the point where he wrote "you have to earn those words". Yes.