Why being creative is not the point.


Are you someone who has lots of ideas but doesn't see them through?

Are you someone who has lots of ideas, but doesn’t see them through? I am. And I have been on a complete Seth Godin YouTube bender this weekend — it helped me with this. The key takeaways for me — or interpretations, to be more correct — have been:

1. Everyone is creative.

What he emphasizes is the importance of being able to FINISH (or ship, as he calls it) to SPEC (meaning to a standard that you’ve pre-determined is good enough).

2. To do that, you need INTENTION and PROCESS.

So don’t talk about hopefully writing a novel. Decide that you WILL write a novel and solve from there.

3. Creative people are trying to change the status quo.

Failure is part of it. Also, indifference.

4. To help with the pain of point#3 remember that you are in service.

I love this — I said the same thing to my agent years ago, that I felt that I was in service to my reader. However, I then used this to flog myself — nothing was good enough. Probably better to see it as a permission slip.

Anyway, the point is, do the work that you feel will fulfil that obligation. Or, another test he suggests is thinking about what you’d work on EVEN if you knew you were going to fail (because it’s a journey, and part of work is learning etc etc). That’s as opposed to the oft-asked question of : What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? He’s saying flip it: What would you work on even if you KNEW it was going to fail?

Anyway, I haven’t read his new book: THE PRACTICE: SHIPPING CREATIVE WORK. But I will.