How artists work - Deepstash

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The Myth of Creative Inspiration: Great Artists Don't Wait for Motivation

How artists work

How artists work

The work of top creatives follows a consistent pattern and routine:

  • Maya Angelou would rent a local hotel to write, from 6:30 AM until 2 PM. She would never sleep at the hotel.
  • Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon writes five nights per week from 10 PM to 3 AM.
  • Haruki Murakami wakes up at 4 AM, writes for five hours, and then goes for a run.

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The essence of motivation

Every choice has a price, but when we are motivated, it is easier to bear the inconvenience of action than the pain of remaining the same.

In other words, at some point,  it becomes more painful to not do the work than to actually do it.

Active inspiration

Motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Getting started, even in very small ways, is a form of active inspiration that naturally produces momentum.

The Physics of productivity

Newton’s First Law applied to habit formation: Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. 

Once a task has begun, it is easier to continue moving it forward. In other words, it is often easier to finish a task than it was to start it in the first place.

Creativity
The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognizing relationships between concepts.

While being creative isn't easy, nearly all great ideas follow a similar 5 step creative process.

The 5 Step Creative Process
  1. Gather new material directly related to your task as well as learning general material by becoming fascinated with a wide range of concepts.
  2. Thoroughly work over the materials in your mind.  Examine what you have learned by looking at the facts from different angles and experimenting with fitting various ideas together.
  3. Step away from the problem. Next, you put the problem completely out of your mind and go do something else that excites you and energizes you.
  4. Let your idea return to you. After you have stopped thinking about it, your idea will come back to you with a flash of insight and renewed energy.
  5. Shape and develop your idea based on feedback. For any idea to succeed, you must release it out into the world, submit it to criticism, and adapt it as needed.
Creativity is learned

Some people are primed to be more creative than others.

However, nearly every person is born with some level of creative skill and the majority of our creative thinking abilities are trainable.