I cannot imagine a sorrier pursuit than struggling for years to write a book that attempts to appeal to people who do not read in the first place. - Annie Dillard

There's a troubling tendency for people to try to shape themselves to be palatable to everyone. The thing is, if everyone finds you pleasant then no one will find you fascinating.

It takes courage to embrace your own idiosyncratic genius, and be free from image management.

Many of us have a voice inside whose job seems to be ensuring that everything we do is beyond reproach, so that any person with some sense will nod in agreement to our existence. This dilutes us, and having someone merely nod in agreement is typically boring for both parties. If we sand off all our edges, we lose our distinction.

We can't please everyone. There are lots of confused people out there. There are people who won't get you. They won't even try to get you. They will just dismiss you outright. Don't worry about it. It's not for them.

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Life starts to get more interesting when we have enough self-trust to express ourselves authentically. It's certainly a better way to live than being oppressed by an inner public relations tyrant who tries furiously to keep us shiny looking.