The image of the creative that lives like a hermit, the person that has an “aha!” moment, and then goes into hiding within the confines of his/her room or garage to create. However appealing this image may be to the common man, and I can’t lie, it is pretty romantic, but it also deludes people of what creativity is. Media will never show you how the other 99% of creatives produce their work, and this is simple because it is less glamorous. It isn’t sexy.
The Unattractive Truth
The real creatives create their work through a daily grind. They habitualize their creativity, and make it a routine. Whether it be waking up before everyone else, or sleeping later than everyone, they find a time slot in their day that they devote to creating.
And there will be days where what they produce is utter crap. It’s okay, that’s part of the process. You are suppose to uncover the dirt before reaching gold. If it took you 3000 words of crap to get 10 of gold, that isn’t a failure. You just did what was necessary, you swept away the crap to get to what you need. There is no other way. If something is covering your great work, you can’t just teleport to it, you have to physically do what is called for in order to get to your work.
This doesn’t mean that every time you want to create something of value you have to uncover tons of dirt before creating anything remotely worthwhile. There will be times where the gold, the value will be right in front of you, ripe for the picking. It will feel like a natural flow to your creativity, and your product will come effortlessly.
The point is that you shouldn’t depend on an “Aha” moment. If you do, you will only create as many “aha” moments you receive. If you do not depend on your creativity for food and shelter, then that is fine, you do not have to routinize, and you can live happily in your romantic view of creativity. But if you an artist, then this is essential. You need to be a well-oiled machine and produce daily.
Some Parting Words
Make your creativity a habit. Find time in your day, and stick to the routine religiously. Dig through the crap, and find your gold.