Gaping Void: How To Be Creative

It’s hard to allow yourself to be creative, and even harder to convince yourself to put in the work necessary to produce something from your ideas. After dealing with all of the basics of life like getting to work, wearing clean clothes, paying the rent, dusting the coffee table and taking out the trash it’s hard to psych yourself up about doing more work. It’s hard to think it’s worth it when you realize that there isn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, at least not in the fiscal or fame sense.

But I keep doing it. I keep making my crappy little songs, and I hope to get back into the habit of writing. I have to be on constant guard against the negative thoughts, the comparisons to others, and the little voice in my head that wants me to give it all up and just hop back on the xbox.

Occassionally I stumble onto something that helps keep that fire going, and I’d like to share that great link with you. Here’s an excerpt from Gaping Voids “How To Be Creative” series:

Frankly, I think you’re better off doing something on the assumption that you will NOT be rewarded for it, that it will NOT receive the recognition it deserves, that it will NOT be worth the time and effort invested in it. The obvious advantage to this angle is, of course, if anything good comes of it, then it’s an added bonus.

The second, more subtle and profound advantage is: that by scuppering all hope of worldly and social betterment from the creative act, you are finally left with only one question to answer:

Do you make this damn thing exist or not?

And once you can answer that truthfully to yourself, the rest is easy.

He hasn’t included two of the newer posts in the series, Where To Draw The Red Line and Dying Young Is Overrated, in the table of contents yet. Make sure to read those as well.

There’s nothing mindblowingly original in his thoughts, but the way that they are expressed makes the ideas really stick. Must read stuff for anyone who is trying to create things just because.

I would add one point, although it goes slightly against his “Ignore Everybody” theory. Find people who are creative, especially in ways that are different than your interests, and hang out with them. You don’t need to ask them for advice, or to try to emulate them. It’s inspiring just being around people who are creative, and who can serve as examples for you of how great it is to do the thing that let’s you achieve flow. Enough of my blathering, go check out the posts!