Tuesday, July 22, 2014

To create, don't break the chain

“Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.” 
~ Chuck Close, American painter and photographer

If you want to write, you have to write. There's no getting around it.

This is true of any creative endeavor. The Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote in 1878:
We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavouring to meet it half-way, we easily become indolent and apathetic. We must be patient, and believe that inspiration will come to those who can master their disinclination. 
A few days ago I told you I was working every day without any real inspiration. Had I given way to my disinclination, undoubtedly I should have drifted into a long period of idleness. But my patience and faith did not fail me, and to-day I felt that inexplicable glow of inspiration of which I told you; thanks to which I know beforehand that whatever I write today will have power to make an impression, and to touch the hearts of those who hear it.
Jerry's Pop Tart joke.
If you won' take it from him, take it from Jerry Seinfeld. When he was starting out he realized that success meant good jokes, and good jokes meant writing good jokes.

So he got a big wall calendar with a whole year on one page and hung it in a prominent place. He also got a big red marker.

On each day that he wrote he put a big red X.
"After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain."
Here's Seinfeld on writing a joke about Pop Tarts. It's work, not inspiration.

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1 comment:

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