Sometimes you hear a song that captures and expresses your exact mood.
Or you read something that perfectly crystalizes your nebulous thoughts and brings clarity to a nagging problem you’ve had.
If you’re like me, moments like these may a stir a desire within you to find and harness that seemingly mystical power of creativity.
How do writers, artists, musicians, architects, and start-up founders create all this great stuff?
I want a piece of that action.
I want to be able to tap into that magical creative force, be a vessel for that power, and use it to impact others in the same way other creators have so greatly impacted me.
I’ve been curious about creativity for a while and have been reading a few books on the subject.
A recent book I’m reading, which I highly recommend, is The Creative Act, by Rick Rubin, a world-renowned record producer who knows a thing or two about creativity vis-a-vis his work with hundreds of successful musicians over the decades.
Something that stood out while I was reading his book this morning:
“You work not as an evangelist, expecting miracles, but as a scientist, testing and adjusting and testing again. Experimenting and building on the results. Faith is rewarded, perhaps even more than talent or ability.”
And he’s talking about faith in the process, how creators often scrap an entire project that may be 80% good, but scrap the entire thing because only part of it wasn’t working.
Faith in the creative process helps you weather times when something is “not working,” it helps you keep going despite setbacks or difficulties.
And chances are the song you love, the book you have read and re-read several times, the comedian you’re obsessed with – chances are highly likely the creators behind the stuff you love have labored greatly and wrestled over and over again with their craft, until the final, finished version was ready for you to experience.
This is a common theme I’m discovering in all the books I read about creativity: do the work, trust the process, and just keep going.
You never know when a tiny seed of an idea you had, or an image in a dream you had last night, or a vivacious conversation with a friend might be the small inconspicuous spark that later grows into a truly beautiful creation.
A client of mine has a very strong vision for her future, and I’m fortunate to be able to help her make her vision of creating a business structure and estate plan to help her reach her grand vision for her business and her family.
There are a lot of unknowns, and a lot of questions, but I see in her that commitment to the process, that inching along day by day, investigating this or that angle and all her potential options.
It’s her faith in the process, and in the knowing that the outcome will one day manifest itself into reality, that keeps her going.
The more you keep trying, failing, picking yourself up again and learning from “mistakes” without letting go of your faith in the process, the more beautiful things you’ll be able to create.
If you quit, or stop, or give up, who knows what great work – whether “big” or “small” – you could’ve created that would have made a huge impact on another person.
Being a creator isn’t about being perfect or worthy of divine magic to be bestowed upon you.
It’s about doing the work, loving the process, reflection and refinement, and the courage and the faith to keep putting one foot in front of the other until one day you realize it’s time to complete it and be done and share it with the world.
And then you start on the next thing.