I invest a lot of time and energy searching the web for new creative experiences and ways to expand my thinking processes. I began doing this to find stuff to blog about and share on social media, but now I seek insight into the creative process and inspiration from different artistic genres and disciplines. I work hard at this because it’s important to me that I grow beyond my current state of being, thinking and working.

I recently discovered a new resource for exercising my creative thinking processes. In this essay How to be Creative by Hugh MacLeoud (PDF) I was intrigued by the first “tip”

1. Ignore everybody.

And this from #14 was really interesting. It offers one explanation for why there are so many more young artists than older more experienced ones.

The bars of West Hollywood and New York are awash with people throwing their lives away in the desperate hope of finding a shortcut, any shortcut.

Of course, the older you get, the more casualties of this foolishness you meet. The more time has had to ravage their lives. The more pathetic they seem. And the less remarkable work they seem to have to show for it, for all their “amazing experiences” and “special insights.”

The smarter and more talented the artist is, the less likely he will choose this route. Sure, he might screw around a wee bit while heʼs young and stupid, but he will move on quicker than most.

But the kid thinks itʼs all about talent: he thinks itʼs all about “potential.” He underestimates how much time, discipline and stamina also play their part. Sure, like Bukowski et al., there are exceptions. But that is why we like their stories when weʼre young. Because they are exceptional stories. And every kid with a guitar or a pen or a paintbrush or an idea for a new business wants to be exceptional. Every kid underestimates his competition, and overestimates his chances. Every kid is a sucker for the idea that thereʼs a way to make it without having to do the actual hard work.

Check it out. It’s worth your time. http://changethis.com/6.HowToBeCreative

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AuthorDean Birinyi