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Emotional Labor

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A few stories from the last few weeks: 1.) A couple of weeks ago, I spent a couple of hours (dispersed over the course of the day) on the phone with my sister, discussing career options and weighing the pros and cons of each of them with her. Over the last half of the day, between calls, I came up with a solution for a situation within my own life and business and texted her asking if she could...

The Magic Feather: Are You Waiting for Validation to Create Your Art?

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I was reading Berni Xiong’s book, The Year of the Brave Bear, when I came across this quote (which, oddly enough, was the same message I heard just yesterday from James Altucher, author of Choose Yourself — it’s a theme this week): We wait to be chosen. We wait for others to tell us we’re good enough. We seek validation from people before we proceed with our grand idea. — Berni...

The World Will Be a Better Place If You Create What You Want to Create

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“The world will be a better place if you create what you want to create.” —Dan Norris, Create Or Hate Sometimes I wonder why I’m so fixated on creating things (and on writing, especially); there are days when it feels painful and pointless. (Am I some kind of a masochist?) Making art hurts. I look around at all the creators who’ve gone before me, and while I sometimes hear...

Motivation: What About the Days When You Don’t Want to Create?

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I tried everything I could to write today. I tried setting my intentions. I wasn’t “in the mood” to write (the most non-justified justification a writer can make), so I figured if I got it out of the way first thing, I’d be less likely to skip it entirely (or come up with more excuses why I could). Except my web host was experiencing an outage. No problem, I wasn’t...

Thorns in the Flesh: The Essence of Creativity (and Personal Growth)

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The essence of creativity lies in a sensitivity to defects. — E. Paul Torrance While reading Why Fly? A Philosophy of Creativity, I came across the idea of “thorns in the flesh,” which, in the author’s words, means “finding answers to questions, no matter how ridiculous or impossible those questions may at first seem.” He suggests never ridiculing or suppressing the...

The (Un)Glamorous Life of a Creative

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For most people, when they think about creativity, it conjures up images of exploration and fun and freedom. The day-to-day life of the creative, however, is far less exciting. Case in point, I was studying (it’s how I spend most of my days, not writing frenetically on my typewriter in my upstairs writer’s loft, even though I actually do have an upstairs writer’s loft —...

The Have-To of Creativity

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I’m reading the book Why Fly? A Philosophy of Creativity by E. Paul Torrance. One of the first quotes that stood out to me was this: “To be creative is to be unpredictable and the unpredictable always makes us uneasy. We like to be able to predict because we feel safer, more secure, more in control of things.” How this plays out in our lives: (From ourselves) I want to create...

Don’t Waste Creative Energy

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I was reading David Kadavy’s book, The Heart to Start, (yes, I’m stuck on it lately) and read the following quote about criticism and bullying: “Criticizing others wastes energy we could be using to grow. [He quoted someone who said], ‘I’ve never found a bully that was doing amazing things with their life. Successful, happy, well-emotionally-balanced people don’t have time...

Your Ego Fears Your Art (Or Why Your Art Is Stupid)

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From David Kadavy’s book, The Heart to Start, “If you start making your art, you’re going to expose your self to discomfort. You’ll have to resist distractions to do the work, you’ll have to struggle through doing work that doesn’t yet meet your standards, and you’ll have to face criticism to make your work better.” And that’s just a few reasons why you’re not creating your art. Still, if you’re...

Guiding Quote

A house extends skyward.
Like a tiny but proud cathedral,
it wishes to generate the highest
and the best in its inhabitants.
— John Truby

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