Inspiration is for amateurs

By October 24, 2013 Uncategorized One Comment
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I had a post planned today about business organization but then I stumbled across a killer video that forced me to push things around.

There’s 1001 videos, books, and TED talks on creativity, where it comes from, and how to be better at it. Many of them are merely polished re-presentations of the same old content but with the speaker acting as a priest or gatekeeper, showing us the way to a better world.

Today I saw one of the few videos that took the opposite approach. Instead of trying to sell me their book on the 10 steps to creativity, it inspired me to lean in and just freaking do it on my own. Enough talk, watch this and you’ll see:

Did you catch that? There’s no secret formula. No diet, mental preparation, or series of exercises. You just freaking do it. My favorite quote, hands down, comes from an interview with Chuck Close:

Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will — through work — bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea.’ And the belief that process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today, you know what you’ll do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday, and tomorrow you are gonna do what you did today, and at least for a certain period of time you can just work. If you hang in there, you will get somewhere.

This is exactly what I need to hear right now. The past month has seen me pushing against the mental barrier of just building all the raw parts I need for my proof of concept and feeling very frustrated that I’m just engineering, not creating anything special. This video is exactly the kind of kick in the pants I need to push through the barrier and know that I’ll come out the other side a little closer to that crazy goal of creating something special.

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