Posted by Meg Cannon on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 06:31
Need some daily motivation to help you power through a creative block? Take a breather, know that you're not alone, and contemplate the following nuggets of wisdom.
As creative professionals, many of us consider ourselves lucky to belong to a tribe that wields laptops instead of sledgehammers for a living. I, for one, feel fortunate to be able to complete a workday in a cozy coffee shop without having to break a sweat. Yet creative work is not without its problems. The struggle to get a great idea onto the page or screen is very real.
To that end, here is a collection of quotes from designers, artists, writers and others who have faced self-doubt and procrastination – and won. Check in here for your daily motivation to push past creative blocks and other difficult but common career challenges:
When you're battling self-doubt:
"Once you free yourself from the need for perfect acceptance, it's a lot easier to launch work that matters." – Seth Godin, marketer and author
"The real trick to producing great work isn't to find ways to eliminate the edgy, nervous feeling that you might be swimming out of your depth. Instead, it's to remember that everyone else is feeling it, too. We're all in deep water. Which is fine: it's by far the most exciting place to be." – Oliver Burkeman, journalist and author
"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things." – Ray Bradbury, author
"There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period." – Brene Brown, research professor and author
"Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity." – T. S. Eliot, poet
"Feeling intimidated is a good sign. Writing from a place of safety produces stuff that is at best dull and at worst dishonest." – Lucy Prebble, playwright
"Having guts always works out for me." – Stefan Sagmeister, partner, Sagmeister & Walsh
Thoughts on procrastination:
"Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work." – Chuck Close, painter and photographer
"I try to procrastinate, if I can, productively, like I'll work on something else as procrastination. Or I take a walk. Because often I find, if you get out, more things come to you." – Noah Baumbach, writer, director and independent filmmaker
"Hard work isn't always productive. Your brain needs periods of inactivity. I think of it as a field lying fallow; keep harvesting and the crops won't mature." – Polly Morgan, artist
When you lose your creative spark and need help reigniting it:
"By believing your work is a 'gift,' it radically changes what you create. I think this is a revolutionary idea. It's no longer about client approval or a paycheck, but aspiring to make work that has meaning and purpose in your life and for your audience." – James Victore, principal, James Victore, Inc.
"The only way to start being asked to do something you want to do is to start doing that thing on your own." – Jonathan Harris, artist, designer and programmer
"You have to set up the narrow parameters that you work in, and then within those, give yourself just enough room to be free and play." – Trey Speegle, mixed-media artist
"Negativity is the enemy of creativity." – David Lynch, film and television director
"Are you having fun? Good. Is your mind working, are you breathing and laughing? There. More comes to you when you live well and worry about everyone else less." – Tara DeFrancisco, improv comedian