Years ago I was watching and interview with Harrison Ford. I don’t remember exactly what he said. I do remember that in the interview he talked about how being a carpenter had made him a better actor. This man who helped craft America’s most iconic heros basically said there is no magic, no muse, no juju. You show up and do the work.
I am sad to say it took me many, many years and a chorus of voices to internalize what that meant for me. Every successful writer from Stephen King on up says in order to be a writer, you have to write.
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration,
the rest of us just get up and go to work. — Stephen King
Artists will tell you the same thing; if you want to be a painter, you have to paint.
If you hear a voice within you say “You can’t paint”
then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced — Vincent Van Gogh
Hell. Gary V. wrote a post just last week saying that if you want to an entrepreneur you have to actually jump all in and do it.
This is not news… but it kind of is.
If I sit down with the intention of making something great, I can’t make anything.
If I sit down with the intention of make something… anything. Then I am in it for the experience of it, for the fun of doing it. If what I make is awful… who cares? If it is fantastic. AWESOME. I’ll show it to some folks.
I am not creating a body of work, a life changing essay, an award-winning blog, an audience, fans, praise… none of that. I am making myself the creative, idea-filled, writer/artist/business person I like to think I am.