“Original doesn’t mean good.”- Bo Burnham
A quote by Bobcat Goldthwait recently changed my view of writing. He said, “Quit at enough things until you find one you don’t want to leave.”
Quitting is often not looked at as a positive, and the idea of failure in creativity can be a neglected topic, but failure in creativity is an important step for growth. Failure is difficult, though, and sucks every single time, and doesn’t get easier. Ever. You just get used to it and learn over time how to be comfortable with it.
If you don’t have a creative hobby, then try out new things and fail at them. Find something you have an interest in and try it. Fail. Try something new. See if a new thing works for you. It might not.
If you do have a creative hobby, create and have fun with it and mess up, then throw it away. Then create more. Create for you. Create for you. Create for you. It’s healthy. Throughout the process, you’ll learn a lot about yourself.
Objective and Purpose:
The purpose of this lesson is to show yourself that you can do cool things with your interests, that writer’s block only exists in your head, and that the creative failures you have had so far brought you to where you are now in your process.
Use creativity as a muscle. Build it up. Work on it. To come up with new ideas it is important to do the work of exploration. Explore literally everything until you find things you like, and then dive deeper into those things. If you have those things, or think you do, that’s wonderful. If you don’t, this exercise will hopefully help.
Now the actual work, the what to do. Try new things. Sleep in if you want. Start at 12:03 pm on a Sunday morning. Cool. Doesn’t matter. Whatever works for you is what you do. Just try new things. These new things can be things not related to creativity, such as ice baths. Try drums. Fail. Try soprano singing. Try meditating. Try hiking. Try making soap. Start a fight club. (Don’t talk about it.) Do research. Learn. Write differently. If you write screenplays, try writing a comic. If you write poetry, try a different form: haiku to sonnet, for example. If you write short stories, try writing a scene with just dialog, and see what comes.
There are many models of this type of creative work. Many artists in different mediums try and fail at creating something, and sometimes through the process they do something new and unique. Some of these artists are in the past: think Finnegan’s Wake, and some are new. Jacob Bannon is a visual artist whose art involves layering. He has spoken about some of his art taking thousands of drafts before it’s right, each draft different from the last. Shane Mauss is a comedian who has a whole act about psychedelics he almost never tried, and now he’s toured it through 180+ cities, and has gained a following because of it.
There are also musicians trying new interesting things. They are playing with genres and mixing them. Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Tycho are examples of unique sounds within their genres. Some artists are also incorporating field recordings into the music to create new textures and layers. Heavy bands are incorporating slower songs and melodies, etc. They are all changing it up and trying new things and taking chances.
It’s also in study. Austin Kleon is a writer who discusses process and the ideas behind creativity and productivity. Susan Cain is a writer who studied introverts and gave a wonderful TED Talk on the subject.
All this is to show that it starts with you. It’s individual.
Check For Understanding:
Before we move onto guided practice, do you have any questions? Where are you at in your thinking? What are you thinking about in regard to your own creative output?
- Write two things you are interested in. Once you have them, come up with two different mediums to explore those interests in.
- Write about a creative failure you have had, a story or idea that didn’t work out, and then write what you learned and or gained from that experience.
If these tips are helpful, please try them. I’m trying to give what I’ve learned from my creative process, not force unnecessary changes to your own creative process. I’m just a 23-year-old kid who hasn’t had major success, but who has learned a lot about his own creative process and how he works. This is just stuff that has helped me.
If you are already doing these things and are happy with the work you are doing and things you are creating, then keep at it. This is just “ra-ra” cheerleading. Good job. It’s hard to be creative. It’s hard to sit down and say, “I’m gonna make this thing.” Keep it up. Really. You got this. Keep working.
Go do good things, please.