October 18

Don’t Be a Romantic

When I was younger and imagined what it would be like to write a book, I pictured myself sitting in a busy coffee shop on a cool, breezy day sip- ping on a latte while thinking deep thoughts about…something profound. Now, having written and published six books, I’ve learned something very important: the creative process is rarely romantic. More often than not, I carve out time in between meetings to ensure that my daily allot- ment of words gets written and that I make steady progress on whatever project I’m into at the moment. It’s less “spontaneous Parisian café bliss” and more “purposeful, functional progress.”

Now, please know that these moments of pragmatic creating are peppered with unexpected insights, excitements, and breakthrough cel- ebrations. Those moments are very special indeed. However, if you rely on moments like those to fuel your progress, you will inevitably stall.

To be a pro, you must commit to the steady, methodical, progres- sive attack of your work, day by day, and release the notion of romantic creativity. However, just like any good marriage has its fill of everyday moments and relatively humdrum mechanics to accompany the deeply romantic moments, your work will also surprise and delight you with occasional romance.

Drop the notion that creative work is romantic. Engage in steady progress on your creative work, and the romance will sneak up on you.


What does steady progress on your work look like today?

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