It’s a New Year. Create!
So this is a post that’s very much a late New Years Resolution, and is pretty much me telling myself how I am going to get into the state of Hard Work on Creative Things (techy, coding, writing, music, or whatever).
What does it take to turn your creativity into real results? I would say that Jack White and Conan O’Brien have very real, proven insight. They did a great chit chat on the topic, covering a lot of ground about hard work, passion, keeping things simple, and Jack’s obsession with the number 3. Watch this when you have an hour and can Focus… (I know, that F word – don’t go getting all tl;dr on me)
Why this inspires me…
So, ok. Jack and Conan are obviously creative and successful, and I’m struggling to find the creative and tech groove where I can consistently do new work… (I am not talking about the context of employment, per se, I am talking about my drive to get traction on my personal projects).
I think three pillars of achieving some artistic success would be: Creativity, Passion, and Hard Work. Jack encapsulates by saying “I want to create something every day… I cannot wait to catch up to this idea I had 3 weeks ago”.
For me, it’s easy to be Creative.. at least with ideas. I can even be Passionate about wanting to get them implemented. But it doesn’t get me far, because I can suck at follow through. My block is not breaking problems down into small enough chunks (I am talking about playing guitar, or redoing my web site, or revamping my blog, or being consistent with real and virtual photography). When I think of a project as a whole, it’s too easy to get daunted by the size of the task, and to put it off. If I could get paid for hemming and hawing on scratching a creative itch, I’d be rich (or if I could get paid for overloading the mashed potatoes of my thoughts with tons of gravy cliches
So one takeaway from Jack’s chit chat would be: Simplicity. In my mind, that translates to “break things down into simple parts, and start working on them one by one”. It also can mean Iteration. I don’t have to tackle my whole web presence in a day, and I can get a creative update done in a series of simple steps….
Which leads me to.. I tend to get all the more Passionate about something when I sense little successes are within reach, and that leads me to Work Harder. It’s a sense of “knowing I am on the right track”. I think there’s the element of a Positive Feedback Loop – to let little achievements be that spark that drives me every day to keep at it.
I resolve to get up earlier and at least chip away at projects every day. My goal is to get into the groove that Conan calls ”hard hard freekin’ work” (but, make no mistake, work that is enjoyable!)
A tip of the hat to where I first saw this on Laughing Squid.