The Practice: Shipping Creative Work – Seth Godin
Creativity By Choice: How It Happens
Creativity Can Be Learned
Creativity is not a natural talent or innate gift. It is a skill and a choice that can be learned and expanded.
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The key to becoming more creative is to develop the habit of constantly shipping or sharing your creative output.
When you ship or share your work, whether you get paid or not, you establish a “Practice” that will help your creative skills grow and expand in the future.
This type of practice is self-motivated and not outcome-oriented. The more you ship, the faster your creative skills will develop and expand, and the better your art, in whatever form it may take, will become.
The magic of the creative process is that there is no magic.
It’s not about the results
You were born with the ability to create art. Art is the generous act of improving things by doing something that may or may not work.
But you’ve been told that you don’t have enough faith in yourself to do so. You’ve been told that you lack talent. And you’ve been told that if you can’t win, don’t try (but now you see the journey is the entire point).
The Conceptual Foundation
Creativity is an option. You can achieve your goals of discovering a new truth, solving an old problem, or making the world a better place. To accomplish this, create a “Practice” of consistently creating, sharing, and shipping your work.
The five guiding principles are:
- Believe in your ability to create great art.
- Be generous with your creativity.
- Maintain a professional demeanor.
- Aim to make a difference with your art.
- Create art on a regular basis.
Making It Happen
The key to developing a creative practice for yourself is to be consistent in producing and distributing your art in whatever form it may take. While good processes can help you produce professional-quality results, consistency is the key to progress. Creating art is something you do, not just something you talk about.
The Five Fundamentals
- Make audacious claims.
- Develop your abilities by consistently producing.
- Accept and utilize your constraints.
- Look for innovative ideas.
- Be indestructible.
Establish a “practice” of shipping whatever you create on time. The discipline of doing so will make you more creative in the future.
Every day, write. Create a blog to record your thoughts. It will help you establish your identity and organize your thoughts. That will serve as the foundation for your future creative output.
Not The Straight A Grade Stuff
The real breakthrough is doing work that is worthwhile even if you know it won’t work.
“Tell me if it’s going to work, and then I’ll do it,” is the Western mindset. This mindset of only doing what is required to get an A on the test holds back creators.
The most general definition of magic is someone who performs a coin trick. The coin vanishes from one hand and is gone for a split second. We can feel the tension at that moment. How is this even possible?
The magic fades once we figure out how to perform the trick. This magic can be found in what we make. Creators can make magic happen for those they wish to help.
The practice becomes your identity
The way we act far more frequently determines how we feel than how we feel determines how we act. Your behavior will shape your identity.
If your practice is to run every day, the more consistent this practice is, the more you will develop a runner’s identity. We are the sum total of our actions.