January 15

One of my favorite quotes is often attributed toWilliam Faulkner, the great American writer:

“I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”

There is great wisdom in this statement. Many people internalize a romantic notion that creativity is a rapturous, instinctual, spontaneous moment of ecstasy. We want to believe that, like a wild animal, it cannot be controlled and will do what it wants.

Highly productive creative pros, however, have taken a very different approach. Instead of waiting for creativity to spontaneously and mysteriously happen, they plan for it. They schedule time for work, dive deeply into it, and discover the inspiration they need in the midst of their labor. They know that if they work long enough, they will eventually stumble on brilliance.

Immature creative pros wait for inspiration. Mature creative pros chase it down.

Immature creative pros play the victim. Mature creative pros are aggressive.

Immature creative pros want things to happen to them. Mature creative pros make things happen.

Your best ideas and breakthroughs will happen in the midst of your work. If you wait for inspiration to happen to you, it’s highly likely you will struggle to produce anywhere near what you’re capable of. Pursue creative maturity.

Schedule your breakthroughs even before you know they’ll happen.

When will you plan time today to dive deeply into your work in search of inspiration?

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