Part of being creative includes a very necessary need to create absolute rubbish. The worst, most amateurish, most mistake laden art you’ve ever seen. Maybe the worst the world has (n)ever seen.
Now, as a creativity coach, you might find these statements a little surprising, if not shocking.
Surely I should be encouraging you to create the best work you can create, to continually evolve as an artist, to bring beautiful, inspiring art into the world, not to churn out complete junk?
Here’s why it’s important to create complete rubbish.
If you wait around until you have the most perfect idea before you start creating, you’ll wait months, years, maybe forever.
If you wait until you have the exact right materials, even though you already have enough art stuff to stock the art departments of a three large schools, you’ll wait months, years, maybe forever.
If you wait until you have a huge uninterrupted three day block of time to start that new project, you’ll wait months, years, maybe forever.
If you wait until you’re good/ talented/ experienced enough to create your masterpiece, you’ll wait months, years, maybe forever.
The only way to create is to step up and create.
The only way to create your best work – the greatest work of your life – is to create art that isn’t so good beforehand. Then get a little bit better each time.
A simple example:
I wrote a lot of poems before I wrote more than even a couple of lines that I thought were any good and that I was pleased with. Hundreds of poems, thousands of words.
It was only by writing through all those not so great lines (and plenty of utterly rubbish ones) that I learned how to write the good stuff.
Within a single piece of writing, say a new blog post, the first paragraph I write is rarely the best paragraph of the post, let alone the best paragraph I’ve ever written.
I just start, and go where the idea takes me, and then come back and edit later.
If you create something, you’re off and away. The engine’s started, the handbrake is off, your wheels have hit the road.
You might splutter and stall a little at first but keep that pedal squeezed and your eyes on the road ahead and you’ll slowly and surely gain that flow, that momentum.
When you’re cruising on a sunny day with the wind in your hair, do you think about the first few metres you pulled out of your driveway? Or do you enjoy the endless miles and feeling of freedom you’re experiencing right now?
In short, quit stalling and get started.
Don’t wait for the perfect idea or the most exquisite first line or note or stitch or stroke.
Create something, get the juices flowing. The more often you do, the easier it becomes to get that engine warm and get straight to the good stuff from the off.
You don’t need to read anymore, and you already knew all this anyway.
So go, go create!
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