Today’s Post is dedicated to a close friend of mine, the lovely and brilliant Racquel @rockyreasons. She spends most of her time saving the world, one student application at a time and has been pushing me to stay dedicated to writing in the midst of PhD awesomeness. Follow her!
Everyone has a skill. Everyone has a platform. Everyone is the greatest that their mother has ever seen and everyone is better than the person they see on TV. Sad thing is the world will never know it. We all have become living room critics and the one stopping us from greatness tends to be ourselves.
I read an article a few months ago by this guy named Daniel DiPiazza on entrepreneur.com talking about “The Surprising Lesson Tupac Teaches Struggling Entrepreneurs”. DiPiazza goes into detail about the amazing way Tupac managed to produce two books of poetry, star in eight films, and 15 albums within five years. Tupac, like many other legendary creatives worked tirelessly to create and never stopped producing content. This combined with the famous “10,000 hour rule” that Malcolm Gladwell brought to fame in Outliers. The 10,000 hour rule is a concept that anyone can become an expert in any field after 10,000 hours of experience, which translates to like 90 minutes a day for twenty years.
10,000 hours is a lot of time. More importantly, how do you approach that 10,000? How can you break that up into something manageable that won’t be either impossible or far too daunting of a task.
DiPiazza talks about a sense of urgency to your work because we are not guaranteed another day but the most important concept I grasped on to was that Quantity is better than Quality overall. Yes, audiences prefer quality work but that quality is built over time. I know plenty of people that create but are so married to one concept or idea that they never move on to something else and it never makes it out. This is how we end up as Twitter and Couch Critiques, believing that we have Michael Jordan’s talent but never creating opportunities for people to see it.
Just Produce: Choose today to stop all excuses. Start today. Start right now. If you are a writer, pledge to write daily. If you are an artist, pledge to draw, paint, play, or take photos DAILY. People don’t have to see/hear what you are working on. Some things you will like, some you will hate. But, the first step is producing, refinement comes later. The importance of producing everything you possibly can is get over the overprotectiveness we have about our products. I know you are an artist and “sensitive about your ish” but you cannot improve if you never go beyond one body of work. Do something related to your craft daily. The only way you reach 10,000 hours is one hour at a time, one day at a time.
Get Feedback Later: Refinement and silly things like feedback are unimportant in the initial creative phase. The most important thing is actually not the form, it’s the essence of the work. The ideas matter most. Refinement can come days or months down the line and doesn’t even have to be done by you. All you need to focus on is living in your creativity.
Make a routine: This will have a lot to do with understanding your self and how you work best, but you need to make your creative process a part of your daily routine. I tend to write late at night because I like the solitude and the feeling of success after finishing all my tasks of the day and posting something for the night owls. You have to find out what works best for you and carve that time out of your day. You will never have enough time if you don’t make it.
Keep Yourself Accountable: I’m still working on this myself, but keep yourself accountable. Tell everyone your goals. Write them down. Talk about why and what you want to do. Hold yourself to them and make sure others do the same. You can make promises everyday but if you don’t have a reason to stay on track, your saxophone (Or method of choice) will eventually just collect dust in the corner of your room.
Another way people keep themselves accountable is through visual rewards. Some use the Seinfeld Method of using a large calendar and marking off days. I have used colored stones and a jar that gets filled up the more days I complete. Any and either method works well, the concept is having a small, simple, gratifying method that overtime you can look back and see your progress.
These are just some of the mental hurdles and the easiest words of advice I could think of to help the future creative. Keep in mind, I’m working through this process too. I hope everyone had a great holiday and let me know your creativity methods below.