7 Ways to Keep Your Creative Genius

“I think somewhere along the way, we just forget how to suck.”

This gem came out of a conversation I had with a friend a while back.

“We forget how to suck.”

Yeah, I’ll say.

Our career tracks are dumbed down to “do this and then do it better and then do it until you die.

Our hobbies are “frivolous.”

Don’t risk failure because failure might suck. What’s the point of sucking when you could WIN! Winning, after all, is what life is all about.


Be an idiot

When Netflix tried to sell to Blockbuster they were laughed out of the room

“The Internet is a fad” the fat cats said, probably chortling through their cigars.“You must be joking!”

Ha ha.

Be terrible

I’m probably the worst with directions. I leave for a place and then pull up the map on the fly. If it’s wrong, I have no chance. If I think I know where something is, that’s a very good indicator I’m within 100 miles of an address.

Not quite as accurate as Siri, but hey.

Do you know what else I used to be terrible at? Writing. The pitch to my college newspaper had approximately one hundred million red marks through it. They let me in anyway because I had “potential.”

(As I later learned, it was actually because they had no staff. It’s fine, though. I’m not too proud to take pity).

I was terrible for a long time. Longer than I should have been. Recently some people have told me I’m not terrible, but now my definition of “terrible” changed so who knows if I will ever get over it?

Such is art.

Be a dreamer

It’s odd, because somehow artists have gotten caught up in this entrepreneurial fad. Like we can hustle our way to a creative breakthrough.

But dreaming is not productive. It’s not supposed to be. But we try and pigeonhole it anyway. We have brainstorming exercises or idea sessions or creative collaboration events or whatever activity fits the buzzword of the moment.

Do you know what’s funny about people who are dreaming, though?

They are asleep.

Unaware of the world and unaware of a problem. Indifferent to business and hustle and work. Incapable of worry or stress.

You can’t dream on purpose.

That’s the whole point.

Be an explorer

And here’s the thing about exploration — it’s hard.

People are trying to go to Mars now. That’s hard.

In the 1800’s people went through grizzly bears and mountains and dissentary and eating squirrels to make their way out West. That was hard. (I played and beat the Oregon Trail. I get it.)

Frontiers, whether literal or figurative, are difficult to reach.

But almost always worth it.

Be a self starter

Nobody will take your art deeper than you can. Not a guru. Not a role model. Not a mentor. Not your boss. Not your spouse.

You.

And that’s hard too. Because some days you won’t feel like it. Some days you won’t feel like putting in your 750 words or mocking up a new design or journaling.

Also, it’s lonely. People start to identify you by your work instead of your being.

And you go deeper still.

“I don’t get it,” they’ll say.

And you go deeper still.

“You don’t have to do this all the time, you know,” they’ll say.

Nobody will make you do it. But you’ll go deeper still.

Be an outcast

Creative people generally don’t fit in. That’s okay though. At least we can all not fit in together.

Here’s an interesting thing about the Internet — geography has been eliminated.

What are you going to do with that freedom?

Be a kid

“I want to grow up”

We were at summer camp, where Jonah shot an arrow for the first time, climbed a rope up a rock wall, and made a friendship bracelet for his sister.

In the same day.

He did all of these things terribly. By the end of the summer, of course, he was better at them. 3 years later, he was an expert, and didn’t remember ever meeting me.

But I remembered him:

“I want to grow up”

When he told me this, I laughed.

“Trust me. You don’t.”

Creative Genius in action…

is a massive amount of ideas.

Moving to a world where robots own the tasks, creative thinking and new ideas are needed now more than ever.

That’s why I created my book — The Ultimate Guide to Infinite Ideas — which you can get for free.

Download your copy here.

— TB