2 min read

How to create?

We’ve gone over what creativity is and why it’s important.  The next question is, “How can I create?”

The greatest creators create without judgement.  Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, their workshops had the greatest creations sitting next to junk.  Workshops are full of unfinished work - no one creates a masterpiece every time.

The “Do It 100 times” exercise is a great way to create and it helps to combat perfectionism.

I’m sixty-odd days into a “Write 100 words for 100 weekdays” challenge and I’ve seen how effective this exercise is.

  1. By committing and executing you will shape this challenge into something you enjoy or tolerate for 100 times.  I started this challenge with the generic intent of writing a short essay every day.  I’ve narrowed my scope to writing about an opinion with logical support.  It doesn’t need to be convincing or entertaining, just an idea that’s somewhat thought through.
  2. Find out what you like.  This exercise has made me be more aware of my ideas.  I’m constantly texting myself ideas to write about in the future.
  3. Find out what you don’t like.  Sometimes I started writing drawn-out, boring essays.  That’s why I added the “logical support” constraint.  Having the focus of an idea and needing some support makes me think a little deeper about the idea.
  4. Collect dots.  After the exercise, you’ll have 100 data points.  You can see themes in what you’re interested in.
  5. Beats the judgement out of you.  You will stop filtering and start producing.  There will be days when nothing comes out and you hate what comes out.  You quickly realize that the world didn’t end and maybe tomorrow it will be better.
  6. Develop a nose for quality.  After a while, I started picking out when something is good.
  7. Help find an audience.  100 things are 100 more than most people create in a year.  Combined with your better sense of quality, you now have a portfolio.

“Do It 100 times” also fits into our autonomy, mastery, and purpose paradigm.  You will only choose an activity that you actually want to do (autonomy).  The 100 iterations guarantee that you will improve (mastery).  And you will find out exactly how you are interested in this activity (purpose).

I’ve been asked if creating is realistic?  People need money to live.  "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."  Do what you have to do to pay the bills, but create with the time and resources that you have.

Autonomy, purpose, and mastery are muscles that need to be exercised.  When they atrophy, you feel numb and it’s easier to slip into a routine of consuming than to restart using those muscles.

So how can we create?

  1. Do things.
  2. Follow autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
  3. Recognize when there is mimesis, repetition, and boredom. And steer away when you see them.