Through Downes’, I found this great post about how to be creative. HOWTOs are always interesting and sell magazines, but they are somewhat more interesting in blogosphere because someone you can get to know put his heart into it.
- Ignore everybody
- Creativity is its own reward
- Put the hours in
- If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail
- You are responsible for your own experience
- everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten
- Keep your day job
- Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity
- Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb
- The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props
- Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether
- If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you
- Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside
One of the most interesting one is number 5: Nobody can tell you if what you’re doing is good, meaningful or worthwhile. The more compelling the path, the more lonely it is.
Of course, I don’t buy all of it. Being extremely lonely is no way to be creative I think. Nobody gets awfully creative at the bottom of a cave. I do think you have to look for others. The strength of your network is key because it multiplies your own brain power. I guess we go back to Emerson’s independence of solitude. Be in a network, be in a crowd, but do not be a mere node in the crowd, be your own node. It does require courage though, and you have to expect to fail, fail badly even.