Douglas Adams On Creativity and Inspiration

Douglas Adams is one of the great comedic writers of the last 100 years. He wrote for Monty Python and created the enduring Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series. He was also a great thinker. I have collected a few quotes of his that relate to creativity. My favorite quote is the one about beliefs: “If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?” An excellent question.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

Having been an English literary graduate, I’ve been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. I think the idea of art kills creativity.

The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. I mean the idea that such complexity can arise not only out of such simplicity, but probably absolutely out of nothing, is the most fabulous extraordinary idea. And once you get some kind of inkling of how that might have happened, it’s just wonderful. And . . . the opportunity to spend 70 or 80 years of your life in such a universe is time well spent as far as I am concerned.

Writing is easy. You only need to stare at a piece of blank paper until a drop of blood forms on your forehead.

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.

It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent blindingly obvious. The cry ‘I could have thought of that’ is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn’t, and a very significant and revealing fact it is too.

Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that.

If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?

You live and learn. At any rate, you live.

4 responses

  1. Very inspiring, although a big fan of his work, I didn’t know anything about him or his ideas.
    Thank you for sharing this:-)
    X Chelsea


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