It happened in 1950 at the El Zarape Tortilla Factory in Los Angeles. For the first time, tortilla production had been automated, and could churn out 12 times more tortillas than anyone could by hand. But the machine also had its drawbacks – many of the tortillas came out misshapen and distorted, and had to be thrown away. But a line worker named Rebecca Webb Carranza saw something in the rejects that fascinated her.
Science tells us that we’re driven by cycles, which I believe impacts our creativity. Although we can force ourselves to do almost anything, I think we do our best work at specific times of the day. For me, it’s morning. From about 6am to noon I do my best writing. After that I can do email, phone calls, meetings, or other work related tasks, but for my best writing, it has to be in the morning. Last week in London, I picked up the book “For Writers Only” by Soppy Burnham. She ran down the list of times of day when a number of great creators were at their peak:
If you’re a serious creative person, you need to find the place where you do your best work. In a coffee shop, in your bedroom, in the basement, on the patio – wherever your creative juices start flowing. For me, I need complete silence. My perfect location is probably a bank vault – no music, TV, email, or other distractions. My office is also
While most creative artists labor in obscurity, when breakthroughs happen, those artists often get all the credit. But the truth is, in so many cases, without the financial help and personal encouragement of patrons, those breakthroughs would have never happened. Today, it simply takes
Every parent, upon hearing that a son or daughter wants to become a filmmaker, writer, musician, dancer, or other artist, feels compelled to encourage them to have a “Plan B.” “Take a business minor.” “Get your real estate license.” “Marry a doctor.” We’ve heard it so often it’s become a joke for creative people. But the truth is,
Whatever you want to be in life – novelist, filmmaker, artist, pastor, leader, whatever – there’s one piece of advice I’d give you: Start acting like it. Too many people spend years waiting for their opportunity, while successful people step out and do it now. Sure you may not have funding in place, school isn’t finished, you haven’t left your day job, or haven’t picked the right project. But I’ve discovered that
Writer’s block, boredom, hitting a wall – all are terms creative people use when they run out of ideas. One of the best ways to overcome those moments of terror is to work on multiple projects at once. In fact, multiple projects may be the best remedy for creative block. Plus, I’ve discovered that if you actually want to make a living with your creative profession, managing multiple projects becomes a necessity. But if you struggle with simultaneous creative efforts, here’s 4 keys that should help:
Over the years I’ve worked with many artists and leaders who are frustrated because of the attention someone similar to them receives. Perhaps the other person got a better book deal, or has a more successful TV show. Perhaps their nonprofit organization raises more money – even though it’s work isn’t as important. The truth is – many times these clients are right. The world isn’t fair. Books that aren’t very good often reach the bestseller lists. There are some horrible TV programs that generate a lot of support. Bad movies often do well at the box office. Whatever the case, I can sympathize with their frustration that others are doing better. My advice?