Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Insights Into Creativity

Image: Penny, our
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
I've been listening to a lot of The Nerdist Podcast. The show is great on many levels, it is fantastic when I have a longer drive like to the gym or downtown. I listen to the show, which is about 60-80 minutes long each, and the drive flies by.

While listening to many musicians, comedians, and actors I have picked up some interesting insights into creativity.  Here are some things I have found interesting:
  • Being a musician is a job like any job. It is hard to make money but you can get to a comfortable level where you don't need to work another job, but this takes time. To express their creativity, most bands just have to work their ass off for years before this is possible.
  • Successful creative people are fearful that people won't like their work but they are willing to overcome this fear and release it to the world.
  • It is better to release your work early in an unfinished stage and iterate as you get feedback from your audience. Sounds a lot like Agile Software Development.
  • It can take a ton of material produced to come out with gold. Many comedians spend their days writing a ton of material and trying it out. Most of it never gets seen by the mainstream and as such we are seeing the best material that worked in front of many test crowds.
  • It's better to start creating and releasing your work even if you don't know what you really want to do with it instead of trying to come up with the "Master Vision" before you release your work. Maybe your vision is not great and won't sell, maybe the side project will be the "Next Big Thing".
  • People matter a lot. Making connections early on in the field you are interested in opens a lot of doors later for you to release your creativity.
  • If you only work on your creative outlets when you are inspired you will never create much. As Neil Gaiman says, "If you only write when inspired, you might be a decent poet but not a novelist."
  • Another from Neil Gaiman, no one cares about your first draft. Just write, create, and iterate on the idea. People want the end result, just get it out and work on it.
If you are not listening to The Nerdist Podcast and like movies, music, comedy, geek culture, then you should try to add it in. You'll love the show.

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