Advice for myself (and other creative people)

Trust yourself. It is the idea that really doesn’t seem to fit. The idea that doesn’t go along with the flow. The idea that seems too dumb, too weird, too different. That’s the one you want.

That’s the one that other people will find interesting too.

I think this is the great secret to creativity—you have to trust yourself enough to be really different. Sometimes uncomfortably and weirdly so. The world is full of people who are always chasing after recreating the thing that just was popular. I’m thinking of knock-offs in the world of books and movies, but I am sure this applies to just about any creative endeavor. Every successful Hunger Games, or Harry Potter spawns a thousand would be imitators— but of course they are never as good, they are merely a colorless copy and lack that spark of originality that makes the real thing so fresh and vital. Nurture your most outlandish thoughts and you will find the path that is solely yours.

Besides, it is only when one is following the muse, and the weirdness of real creativity that one can become not only inspired but obsessed with the act of creating. Obsession is vital, it leads to mastery of one’s art.

Don’t ever try to fit in. Look to your heros, the people who do your craft that you admire. Mine our Kafka, Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Roberto Bolano, David Foster Wallace, Cormac McCarthy, Murakami. Pretty much all weirdos with weirdo ideas if you think about it. You must take yourself and your weird ideas as seriously as your heros took themselves and their ideas to be. Therefore an aspiring artist must treat themselves as though they are already in the pantheon of the masters. That is to say, an artist must be like a child; able to play with the utmost seriousness.

“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.”

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