Category: Inspiration

Creativity and the tools we use

Dylan_Thomas_photoI’ve visited the room where Dylan Thomas did much of his writing and also the tiny shed where Roald Dahl wrote. Something that struck me about these amazing writers, was how extremely typical their surroundings were.

Nothing fancy. Just a space to create, where they could think and work.

The mechanics are secondary

Often, we get caught up in the mechanics of creativity. What software to work with… which type of computer to use.

I think to a lesser or greater degree, these are stalling tactics. Find the mix that feels right for you, then create.

The rest is largely unimportant.

It’s 1969: Jim Morrison talks about rap and electro music!

Never let the fear of criticism hold you back from creating your art. Today, I want to share an example with you, which makes this point beautifully.

1969: Jim Morrison predicts electro & rap

In 1969, the year The Beatles split, Jim Morrison was asked about the future of music. Here’s an amazing, direct quote from his answer:

“[...] it might rely heavily on electronics, tapes, I can kind of envision maybe one person with a lot of machines, tapes, and electronics set up, singing or speaking and using machines.”

You can watch the short video that quote is taken from, here.

From fool to visionary

At the time, Morrison’s prediction of what we now call electro music and rap, whilst his counterparts were playing Woodstock with flowers in their hair, was laughed at.

The idea of using machines, rather than musical instruments, was too much for the masses to handle. It seemed like the foolish ramblings of a man with a well known drug problem.

Of course, it wasn’t.

Years after his death, Morrison’s prediction happened. He was duly elevated to the status of musical visionary.

The price for thinking differently

The price for thinking differently, is that you set yourself apart from the masses. By proactively embracing your creativity, you will see the world differently. Your art may be hard for others to understand or ahead of its time. When that happens, the masses are likely to laugh at you or criticise you.

As Einstein said: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds”.

A great way to deal with this, is to use fear as your compass. Every great artist has encountered ridicule. If your work is not being attacked in some way, you’re probably playing it safe… not making a difference. It’s a sign you need to embrace the edges.

To quote another visionary: “Stay young. Stay foolish” — Steve Jobs.

Find your shipping recipe

Lets do this

An early morning, with a notebook and some coffee or green tea. That’s what does it for me. That’s the recipe to get my mind flowing with ideas and for those ideas to get shipped. In my case, shipped means written up for my readers. I get ideas all day, but I have found that early mornings work best for getting those ideas transformed from thoughts into things.

It doesn’t matter what works for you

What matters is that you find your recipe, to get the ideas flowing and shipped. Practice. Try things. Change the media from pen to pencil. From computer to tablet. From keyboard to paint. From guitar to sound sequencer.

It doesn’t matter, just so long as it works for you… so long as it gets the idea from your head into; the marketplace, the world, the community, the clients hands or into the readers inbox. Steve Jobs was right, real artists ship. So, find your shipping recipe and get your art out there.

Living your dreams?

Those who make a difference — those who improve their lives, their communities and their world, are doers. People of action. Dreams are fantastic, but we need to live our dreams if we want to make them real… if we want to make a difference. This requires intelligent activity.

Chanting to the universe… Cosmic Ordering. These act as a narcotic, to ease the pain of being less than you can be. They distract their advocates from the very real fact that the clock is ticking. They provide an alibi for those scared of doing… after all, it’s not THEIR fault if the universe isn’t listening to them, they say.

Here’s what we know works, from every great artist who has ever lived: Intelligent action is required.

The need for action

“Action expresses priorities.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“What one does is what counts. Not what one had the intention of doing.” – Pablo Picasso

“Do the thing and you will have the power.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Well done is better than well said.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.” – Joss Whedon

“You are what you do.” – C.G Jung

“Imagination means nothing without doing.” – Charlie Chaplin

“A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed.” – Henrik Ibsen

“The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.” – C. S. Lewis

“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.” – Benjamin Disraeli.

If you want to make a real difference, you need to get real and start LIVING your dreams.

Translate your good intentions into good deeds

The book you intend to read, won’t teach you anything… until you read it.

The book you intend to write, will never be read… until you write it.

Intentions and deeds

It’s wonderful to have good intentions. However, our results are going to be determined on what we do, rather than what we intend to do.

Read the books. Create the art. Translate your good intentions into good deeds.