"I must write down that I am to be an artist. Not in the sense of aesthetic frippery, but in the sense of aesthetic craftsmanship; otherwise I will feel my loneliness continually--like this today. The word craftsmanship takes care of the work angle & the word aesthetic the truth angle. Angle. It will be a life struggle with no consummation. When something is finished, it cannot be possessed. Nothing can be possessed but the struggle. All our lives are consumed in possessing the struggle but only when the struggle is cherished & directed to a final consummation outside this life is it of any value. I want to be the best artist it is possible for me to be, under God."
Give us grace, O God, to dare to do the deed which we well know cries to be done. Let us not hesitate because of ease, or the words of men's mouths, or our own lives. Mighty causes are calling us—the freedom of women, the training of children, the putting down of hate and murder and poverty—all these and more. But they call with voices that mean work and sacrifice and death. Mercifully grant us, O God the spirit of Esther, that we say: I will go unto the King and if I perish, I perish. Amen.
"We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."
"Coming at a new work requires a certain amount of patience and energy, and there’s always the risk of disappointment. You can’t really blame people for preferring more of what they already know and like. The trade-off, of course, is that predictability is boring. Repetition is the death of magic."
"It is better to practice a little than to talk a lot."
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”
"I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is not to take yourself too seriously."
"Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it."
"A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it."
"Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work."
“Opportunity is missed by people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
"Writing is manual labor of the mind: a job, like laying pipe."
"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."
"If you want to work on your art, work on your life."
“Inspiration comes of working every day.”