Creative Capacity

“The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.”

Michelangelo

Building skill takes time, but the nice thing about creativity is that you can still create while you are developing. Sure, it might not be at the level you want, but don’t worry, because honing yourself at your current level is what’s going to push you higher.

If you’re just starting out, know this—

Anyone is capable of creativity.

And the thing about creativity is it comes in many flavors, not just art.

Imitate the greats

You’ll find that you can’t quite do what they do (did) but in the process of imitation, you’ve created your own original way of doing things.

Focus on getting better today.

As you increase your skills, you’ll notice that your previous work kinda sucks. You’ll notice the flaws and mistakes, but that’s natural. It’s a sign that you are moving forward, versus stagnating.

Question: Is there anything you aren’t doing but wish you were because you think you aren’t ready or don’t have the skills yet?

Action: What’s one thing you can do today to challenge yourself and push your skills a little higher?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1082 ☕️

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Practice #1: Do The Verb

Note: This is a post pulled from my premium monthly email publication, Practices. Practices the sister publication to Considerations. Where Considerations is about creative inputs, Practices is about creative output. If you are looking to up your game, sign up for Practices.


A few years ago, I was fed up with myself. I was constantly droning on and on about wanting to be a writer (likely to the annoyance of everyone around me). My heart was in the right place, but I just wasn’t doing it.

I had recently started a blog, Renaissance Man Life (which is now Renaissance Life) around the goal of writing more and my main goal of being multidisciplinary. The problem was I wasn’t writing.

I would tell myself that once inspiration struck, I would write something worthwhile and post it. But inspiration rarely came—if at all.

I was doing a lot of dreaming, but not a whole lot of doing.

I finally had an epiphany on how to resolve this after I started my podcast around creativity and mastery, and noticed a pattern between some early guests on the show.

Josh Green (@permanentrecorddrums) a musician, mentioned how he improved his skills by creating and filming a daily drum groove for a year.

Travis Knight (@travisknight), illustrator and designer, did something similar by drawing a “creep” monster every day for years.

After hearing their stories (and also being influenced by Seth Godin’s work) I decided to start writing a blog post every day.

Today, I’ve written 900+ consecutive blog posts and counting. Not only am I writing more and honing my writing skills every day, but I also feel like a writer.

Have I written a best-selling book yet? No. But each blog post is a step towards achieving that goal.

It’s impossible to be a writer if you never write.

That goes not just for writing, but for any craft you want to become great at.

Are you a musician if you don’t practice?

Are you a potter if you don’t sculpt clay?

Recently I came across this quote from Austin Kleon that summarizes the essence at what I’m driving at:

“If you want to be the noun, first do the verb”

The noun and the verb – Austin Kleon

Or in other words, if you want to be something, you have to go do it.

Of course, you don’t have to go out and start a daily habit like me. Writing daily is just what works for me personally and helps build momentum. You can just as easily work on your craft on the weekend, or weekdays after hours.

The key is to start.

If you want to be something, go do it.

Reflection: What’s one thing you want to do that you can start doing today?

“Practice yourself, for heaven’s sake in little things, and then proceed to greater.”

Epictetus

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #904

Note: This is a post pulled from my premium monthly email publication, Practices. Practices the sister publication to Considerations. Where Considerations is about creative inputs, Practices is about creative output. If you are looking to up your game, sign up for Practices.

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Just Show Up

“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.”
Chuck Close, photorealist

Quality matters. Creating crappy work isn’t going to going to bring the boys to the yard, so to speak. Whether we are talking getting people to read your writing, sign up for your newsletter, listen to your music, buy your product… — Sh🙈t gets you sh🙈t.

One unfortunate side effect of seeking quality is the more you seek it, the more it paralyzes you from creating. This can lead anyone down the slipper slope of chasing perfection.

Perfection is the enemy of creativity. It stops you from starting and finishing. Perfection is a chatty chap. Perfection says, “if it’s not the best idea you’ve ever had, it’s not worth publishing / doing / uploading” and “if you mess up, throw it all away”. Perfection also has a lot to say about whether or not your ideas are any good. What Perfection doesn’t realize is creating is a process.

Some of your ideas will suck. Some will be great. But it’s often the case, we have to wade through the sucky ideas to get to the great ones.

Deciding to create — be it art, music, business… you name it — whenever you feel like it will get you a few good ideas every now and then. But those ideas are few and far between when you dedicate yourself towards creating every day.

Daily habits make me better at what I do.

It gives me no excuses not to create.
Whether I feel like it or not. Whether I have inspiration or not.

I just show up every day, and do it.

Ideas and inspiration comes when you show up.

It’s funny, most days I’ve got zero ideas about what I’m going to write about until I sit down and write. But that makes sense in a way. Showing up gives you the space to create, otherwise, we’d fill the void with errands, errata, eating and other things.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #620

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