The Prolific Creator Never Has a Shortage of Ideas
You don’t either. As I said in my last book, “Nobody has a shortage of ideas. We just lack the discipline to capture them.” It doesn’t matter if you have bad ideas or good ideas. The only goal is to have a lot of ideas. Whether it’s half baked, brilliant or bat shit crazy, write it down.
15 years ago, people said, “Don’t get in cars with strangers. You’ll get murdered.” Today that’s how we get around.
What’s batshit crazy today might lead to brilliance or billions tomorrow.
The Prolific Creator’s Work Speaks for Him
Prolific creators are too damn busy doing their work to tweet about it, compose status updates, or upload pictures to Instagram.
- Ryan Holiday wrote 6 books In 6 years. By the time I finish reading one, the galley for the other one shows up at my house.
- Cal Newport doesn’t even have a social media account. The only reason he got a smartphone was that his wife insisted after he had kids. He’s written multiple books on the side of a demanding day job as a professor.
As Seth Godin brilliantly put it, “The Mona Lisa Doesn’t tweet. Yet, millions of people talk about it every day.”
Being congratulated for what you’re planning to do is one of the most insidious forms of resistance. You get the high of the accomplishment without the blood, sweat and tears required for it.
It’s the digital equivalent of cocaine and it makes you the cognitive equivalent of an athlete who smokes. And you don’t even get to smoke or do any cocaine.
The prolific creator is committed to his art because he knows that the most valuable thing he can do for his audience is to make more of it. Shut up, close the door, sit down. Make more art.
Let your work speak for you and you won't have to spend so much time talking about it.
The Prolific Creator is Focused
When my most prolific friends are in their creative cave, you get an autoresponder from them that says something along the lines of:
“I’m making a piece of art. It’s more important than anything else I’m doing right now. Unless this involves you paying me some insane amount of money (i.e. speaking at your event, writing a book for your publisher), or it’s a matter of life and death, please don’t expect any response). It’s not personal. I’m busy making more art.”
They might be more polite than I’ve suggested. But you get the idea. If it’s not essential, it’s not important.
The Prolific Creator Runs His Own Race
Chris Brogan says, “Nobody ever won a race by looking sideways.” Around you is a world that leads to constant comparison. Inside of you is a world that leads to infinite creativity. The second is how you win the race.
The Prolific Creator Aims to Defy The Expectations of His Audience
AJ Leon first defied the expectations of his audience with a free e-book that looks nothing like a free e-book. It’s a work of art. He did it again when he custom-illustrated the name tags of every attendee at his conference.
It’s not efficient to work this way. It might be less profitable and is harder to scale. But it defies the expectations of an audience and overwhelms them with joy. It leaves an unmistakable mark that stays with them for the rest of their lives. Hopefully, I’ve defied yours.
Before you ship, ask yourself, “How could I defy the expectations of an audience?”
The Prolific Creator Takes Matters into His Own Hands
Two young actors were struggling to find work. So they took matters into their own hands. They wrote a movie script to create work for themselves. After that, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck became household names.
You can sit around waiting for your big break. Or you can take matters into your own hands. The prolific creator does the latter.
The Prolific Creator Ships
The prolific creator knows that the only way his art will get better is if he ships. He has to open himself up to feedback to decipher brilliance from bullshit.
The Prolific Creator Goes the Distance
Steven Pressfield spent 19 years working on his craft before he got paid for anything.
Seth Godin received 900 rejection letters in his first year.
It took me 7 years to get from blog to book deal.
The prolific creator has grit. He goes far past where the average person quits. He goes the distance.
This is part of a series about how to become a more prolific creator. You can download the entire book for free here.