Pearls from artists* # 568

July 19, 2023
Working on “Raconteur”
Working on “Raconteur”

*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

Some people say they work best under pressure, but working under pressure is a bit of a fallacy. It’s not waiting till the last minute that gives you the good work; it’s the focus that’s required when you wait till the last minute that brings about the good work. So think of it this way: your focus is the center of your brilliance; why not avail yourself of that brilliance on a regular basis? Everyone has her own rhythm, but if you don’t like the fact that you procrastinate, one way to get out of it is to think what the alternative is. The alternative is, instead of trying to do a month’s work in a few intense days in the studio, to give yourself the pleasure of yourself in flow, in focus, on a regular basis.

Anna Deavere Smith in Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-Up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts for Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind

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