I have two more books to share with you.
I'll begin with
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier
Fried and Heinemeir say "Interruption is the enemy." They compare what they call "the alone zone" to REM sleep saying: "...just as REM is when the real sleep magic happens, the alone zone is where the real productivity happens."
As an introvert, a character trait that has yet to reach the mainstream, it's inspiring to have a book that is written for the general public (not just introverts) mention the value of being alone. This is true for me EVERYDAY. The fewer interruptions I have, the more productive I am. One interruption arrises and I have to spend a lot of extra energy "falling back to sleep" in order to hit that "real sleep magic".
Fried and Heinemeir recommend emulating chefs. They remind the reader that the great chefs "share everything they know". They cook AND they share their recipes. They ask the question what's your recipe?
I think the meat and potatoes of this is that if you are truly doing what is authentic for you, there is no fear in sharing it. Yes, you may be able to replicate a Julia Child recipe, but can you actually BE Julia Child? Would you want to be?
This is a good reminder that we don't have to live in fear of sharing our good ideas. If someone takes yours, they most surely won't be able to get the mileage out of it than you can.
I love this! I love this! I love this!
This is what I love:
"Culture is the by-product of consistent behavior."
Consistent work is one of my soap boxes. I stand on this soap box for myself most of the time. I feel fortunate that I feel a natural inclination to be consistent AND...have reaped benefits of this paying off every time. Am I consistent with everything in my life? Of course not. I am human (and a procrastinator) just like everyone else. I am, however, consistent in showing up for my creativity in some way everyday. This has made all the difference.
And I love this too:
"Ideas are immortal...Inspiration is perishable."
This is why it's so important to carve out a place to work and always have it ready. This is why you don't clean up your materials and display them all nice and neat on the shelves. If they are on the shelves, they just collect dust. If they are out, in a comfortable place that is welcoming to you (and this could be your dining room table!), they get used.
Try it. I dare you...
The second book is
Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod
"Your wee voice came back because your soul somehow depends on it.
There's something you haven't said, switched on,
and it needs to be taken care of. Now."
I don't know if you've taken the time to listen to that wee voice but I believe EVERYONE has one. You either have heard it or you haven't but it's surely there. You know how to identify it too because, once you've heard it, it doesn't go away.
I think this is one of the biggest challenges for people today: listening to that "wee voice", believing that "wee voice", and acting on that "wee voice".
"The more talented somebody is, the less they need props...there is no correlation between creativity and equipment ownership...Actually, as the artist gets more into her own thing, and as she gets more successful, the number of tools tends to go down."
I don't know how many times I have heard people say they need this or they need that in order to get started. It's an easy trap to fall into. We've all believed this at one point or another in our lives. But the truth is, it doesn't work that way. The first oil painting I completed was at my dining room table with one a small set of oil paints and one brush. That oil painting was accepted into one of the most difficult juried art exhibitions in Minnesota.
There are a lot of stories out there like this one.
Really, it has nothing to do with props.
Just get started. Use that pack of colored pencils you recently came across stashed away in the junk drawer.
"You have to find a way of working that makes it dead easy to take full advantage of your inspired moments. They never hit at a convenient time, nor do they last long."
This statement is just more evidence for the importance of being prepared once inspiration occurs. There is such a short window for inspiration and inspiration is the fuel
that gets mileage out of an idea. You can't control when inspiration will ignite, but you can control what's set up
and ready at the gas station.