You cannot hope to be a scholar. But what you can do is to curb arrogance; what you can do is to rise above pleasures and pains; you can be superior to the lure of popularity; you can keep your temper with the foolish and ungrateful, yes, even care for them.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (8.8)
Photo by Gary Ellis on Unsplash
An excellent post from author Steven Pressfield about the painful, self-marketing aspect of being a writer. It’s relevant for all independent professionals.
For the past few months I’ve been working full-time promoting my just-published novel, A Man at Arms, and I have to tell you … I am waaaay out of my comfort zone.
But, Steven offers an alternative mindset to the usual reluctance we feel.
Here’s how I feel about it. I don’t see it as selfish (though no doubt there are self-interested elements in there.) For me, it’s about fidelity to the book and, especially, to the characters.
It’s about fidelity to the work.
If you do good work, it deserves to be shared.
Read the rest, here.
Steven, of course, wrote The War of Art, an essential guide to getting things done. I’ve just replaced my copy. He also coined the mantra,
Put your ass where your heart wants to be.
Photo by Andreas Rønningen on Unsplash
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 – 1881), The Brothers Kamarazov
Hat tip to Je t’aime / N’arrete pas.
Photo by Andre Mouton on Unsplash
Execupundit’s Michael Wade has started a new series of posts on Interesting Websites.
He had me from the beginning with a list brings together Niall Ferguson, Steven Pinker, Keith Richards and Van Morrison.
Find them all at execupundit.com.
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Donald Robertson, author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor (and many other books), posts a list of forthcoming Stoicism events.
The first is the Marcus Aurelius Anniversary conference, in honour of Marcus’ 1,900th birthday.
The events are virtual, which removes another excuse for not attending. I also see that recording will be available later for donating attendees.
More information, here.
A salient reminder of where to focus…
- Your career. What are you doing this week to make it sustainable, enjoyable and still viable in 2 years from now?
- Your wellness. How much are you simply moving? What’s the quality of your nutrition? Sleeping sufficient? Taking some time out?
Read the rest, here.
Then, possibly, read Nicholas’ debut novel, Meet Molly. More here.
Photo by Anastasia Petrova on Unsplash
To try to make the world in some way better than you found it is to have a noble motive in life.
Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919)
Disaster is virtue’s opportunity.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), On Providence (iv 4-6)
The rough clothes, the rank growth of hair and beard, the sworn hatred of silverware, the pallet laid on the ground: all these and any other perverse form of self-aggrandisement are things you should avoid…
The life we endeavour to live should be better than the general practice, not contrary to it…
Philosophy demands self-restraint, not self-abnegation – and even self-restraint can comb its hair.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (5.2 – 5.5)
Worth a re-post in these locked down times.