“Do you see that tree? It is dead but it still sways in the wind with the others. I think it would be like that with me. That if I died I would still be part of life in one way or another.”
—Anton Chekhov, from The Three Sisters (1901)
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.
A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.
Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”” —– Ira Glass (via topographe)
― Li Po” —(via journalofanobody)
When I first read Consider Phlebas, I was exhilarated to discover that this was SF that didn’t read in an American accent, and which reflected the same attitude and values that distinguished Iain’s mainstream works. I recall him telling me with typical passion that SF was over-full with dystopias, usually infused with a right-wing social pessimism. He clearly relished the mischief of depicting a liberal utopia, and speculating how things might work if an egalitarian society had all the best weapons for a change.
Christopher Brookmyre on the demise of Iain Banks