“People always look for excuses. My favorite one is, “Well that’s easy for you because you have a really popular blog.” As if my really popular blog was something I won in the lottery. I had a really unpopular blog for three years in a row where 10 or 20 people were reading it. When I got started in the book business, I received 900 rejection letters. So you don’t look at the end result — at the Richard Bransons and Maria Popovas — and say, “Well they have that thing that I don’t.” They got that thing by showing up. I am really focused on helping people understand that not showing up is a failure of will more than it is a failure of birth.”—
Excerpt from an interview with Seth Godin in the 10th anniversary issue of the wonderful Australian creative culture magazine Dumbo Feather.
A boss once told me, "Find your voice." ... What does that even *mean*?
it means that everybody is truly uniquely different, when it comes down to it, but we spend our lives trying to sound right and look right; mostly by trying to sound and look like other people and getting lost in the echo and the imitation.
if you’re still enough, there’s a sound and expression that comes out of you that isn’t like anything that’s ever happened before or will ever happen again.
that’s your voice.
it’s who you actually *are*, instead of the person you think everyone is supposed to be seeing…the pretty one, the fat one, the perfect one, the one who’s “good at x”, the dutiful daughter, the long-suffering addict, the one in control, etc. none of those things are you, or your voice. your voice is what’s underneath that.
I want to tell you something. I don't know why. But ok. My brother died a few months ago. My dad has dementia. My dog died last week. I've been depressed and anxious for years. I've done the meds and the meditation and I did the hospitalization. They help sort of. I'm not suicidal anymore so that's something although I know the potential is there. Truly though I don't have the energy to be suicidal. I think I'm ok with being this way. I have reasons to be sad now, so it's sort of ok. Right?
Hi! I think you're amazing, and I always loved the fact that you sing AND play piano. I've been playing piano since I was 6 years old, but I've recently had a falling out with the instrument. Do you have any advice on how I can stay with it and not be so sad about it? I've been told by numerous piano teachers that I have "real talent," however, every time I think about sitting down and playing I want to cry.
love is complicated. I’ve been in and out of love with the piano for years. I suggest going non-monogamous and picking up a ukulele or guitar. it can give you a new perspective on your primary relationship.
Amanda, I'm sorry this is so morbid but tonight I had to kill a bird that my cat hurt really badly. It was a horrible experience and the only thing that got me through it was that I had your song "The Killing Type" stuck in my head to a point where my own thoughts couldn't get through. I guess I just wanted to thank you for all the times your words have helped me get through really hard times, times when I was scared to do what needed to be done. You help me get through those.
Amanda, I know you don't need anyone to tell you how much your fans love you- but I'm gonna anyway. We love you, regardless of who you play with. Your TED talk on the art of asking was one of the most moving things I've watched. Most of us (I hope) want you to be happy with the art you're producing, and are just grateful to share it with you.
thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to write that :)
can you please put down your ukulele anthem and call brian???
uhhhrrrr. do you mean that I shouldn’t be wandering around the world aimlessly writing songs on the ukulele and the piano when and how i feel compelled and doing TED talks and releasing music vaguely on the internet via various means to see what will and wont be sustainable and booking strange shows and playing in parks and peoples living rooms and hunkering down to write a fucking book and making ephemeral art all over the place and not really knowing what I’m doing? and instead I should put my old band back together?
if that’s what you mean, i understand you and the answer is HAHAHA! i want All The Things !!!!!
but also! in the wise words of whoever : Amanda Palmer Is Not Your Bitch. No Artist Is!
as long as i have something to communicate by art, and can connect through art, i can make whatever art wherever art however art I feel like and this, that, thus - this is the statement that keeps me wanting to make any art at all.
in summary, enjoy the art i have to give. it is what it Is.
sorry you caught me on a drunk night in maine. i love you.
Ever finished a book? I mean, truly finished one? Cover to cover. Closed the spine with that slow awakening that comes with reentering consciousness?
You take a breath, deep from the bottom of your lungs and sit there. Book in both hands, your head staring down at the cover, back page or wall in front of you.
You’re grateful, thoughtful, pensive. You feel like a piece of you was just gained and lost. You’ve just experienced something deep, something intimate… Full from the experience, the connection, the richness that comes after digesting another soul.
It’s no surprise that readers are better people. Having experienced someone else’s life through abstract eyes, they’ve learned what it’s like to leave their bodies and see the world through other frames of reference. They have access to hundreds of souls, and the collected wisdom of all them.
“For centuries, the myth of the lone genius has towered over us, its shadow obscuring the way creative work really gets done. The attempts to pick apart the Lennon-McCartney partnership reveal just how misleading that myth can be, because John and Paul were so obviously more creative as a pair than as individuals, even if at times they appeared to work in opposition to each other. The lone-genius myth prevents us from grappling with a series of paradoxes about creative pairs: that distance doesn’t impede intimacy, and is often a crucial ingredient of it; that competition and collaboration are often entwined. Only when we explore this terrain can we grasp how such pairs as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, and Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy all managed to do such creative work. The essence of their achievements, it turns out, was relational. If that seems far-fetched, it’s because our cultural obsession with the individual has obscured the power of the creative pair.”—