Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

— E. L. Doctorow

If you’re looking for the next big thing, and you’re looking where everyone else is, you’re looking in the wrong place.

— Mark Cuban

Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get the work done. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lighting to strike you in the brain, you’re not going to make an awful lot of work.

— Chuck Close

Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.

— Cormac McCarthy

If you don’t feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then probably what you are doing isn’t very vital.

— John Irving

We know it's out there. Our best art hints at it. Poetry leans into it. Great sex makes it sticky and palpable. True spiritual awakenings rest at its feet. Meditation sometimes lets you hear it breathe.

— Mark Morford

Make something great. Tell people about it. Do it again.

— Derek Powazek

Jim Coudal is a truly inspiring character, with a unique perspective on business and creativity. His company, Coudal Partners, is not only a well respected design agency, but has also developed many successful products and services, most notably The Deck advertising network, as well as Field Notes notebooks. He often stresses the importance of writing, as well as letting go of the fear of failure.

People always ask, “What is your greatest failure?” I always have the same answer – We’re working on it right now, it’s gonna be awesome!

— Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners

Change is a wave you can ride or drown under, but you can’t just sit on the beach, eating Dippin’ Dots and listening to Skynyrd. That’s not how it works. So, even if you’re mostly secure right now, and even if you’re mostly doing what you like, just think about what a big change would mean and how you’d ride it.

— Merlin Mann

Merlin Mann Takes a Stand

Merlin Mann, the cool uncle of the Interwebs, encourages himself and others to rise above the trite remarks, easy jokes, and poorly conceived and executed “user-generated” content permeating our culture, in order to create something better:

What worries me are the consequences of a diet comprised mostly of fake-connectedness, makebelieve insight, and unedited first drafts of everything. I think it’s making us small. I know that whenever I become aware of it, I realize how small it can make me. So, I’ve come to despise it.

So, here’s to being exceptional.

And if you’re unfamiliar with Merlin, check out 43 Folders, 5ives, or my personal favorite, You Look Nice Today.

Apple makes history not by leapfrogging everyone in terms of functionality and bells and whistles, they do it through elegance, simplification, clarity, and practicality.

— Jason Fried

9 Rules

I found this at the The 9rules Network.

  1. Love what you do.
  2. Never stop learning.
  3. Form works with function.
  4. Simple is beautiful.
  5. Work hard, play hard.
  6. You get what you pay for.
  7. When you talk, we listen.
  8. Must constantly improve.
  9. Respect your inspiration.