The Prolific Creator Is Curious
Almost every creative choice I make is driven by one question. Does this make me curious? If it does, then I know it will never feel like work. Curiosity is one of your greatest untapped super powers. You’ll be amazed by where it will lead you even if you have no idea where you’re headed.
The Prolific Creator Focuses on What He Can Control
The prolific creator doesn’t waste his time wondering if the audience will clap, his parents will be proud, or the critic will write him a breathtaking review in the New York Times. All of this is out of his control. So he focuses all of his energy into the only thing he can control: the effort he puts in to the work.
The Prolific Creator Believes Talent is Overrated and Practice is Underrated
Some prolific creators have a natural talent. They sit at the piano, pick up the guitar, and magic just flows. But there also plenty of talented people who don’t amount to anything. Every prolific creator knows that talent is overrated and practice is underrated. Practice can lead to talent, but vice versa isn’t true.
The Prolific Creator Has a Bold and Compelling Point of View
“If you have a bold and compelling point of view, you’re probably going to piss some people off.” — Justine Musk
The prolific creator is willing to piss people off. He’s willing to alienate the wrong people to make room for the right ones. What resonates with one person might piss another person off.
Every week, I piss someone off. I lose a listener or a subscriber. My work has been called everything from pointless bullshit to hateful leftist propaganda, and a disservice to humanity (my personal favorite).
My mother says that I should consider developing some filters. I told her, “I’m 41 years old. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.”
Every one of my books has one-star reviews and five-star reviews. If you’re afraid to poke the box, zig when other people zag, and stand out when everyone else is trying to fit in, you’ll never have a bold and compelling point of view. Work that resonates is not for everybody.
Prolific creators don’t cater to anonymous critics. They focus on raving fans. Or as James Victore says, “We’re not for everybody, we’re just for the sexy people.”
The Prolific Creator is Fully Self-Expressed
We hold back, play it safe and water down our work and polish our rough edges in the desire for external validation. This paradoxically has the opposite effect.
When you are fully self-expressed, you defy the limitations of your medium. Don’t apologize for your point of view. Paint with every color. And play with every note. Your imperfections are gifts. Your inadequacies become illusions. Your work is a no fucks given, no bullshit expression of who you are.
This is part of a series about how to become a more prolific creator. You can download the entire book for free here.