READ: Too often, we creatives allow fear and perfectionism to get in the way of bringing our best work into the world. While it’s very true that ‘Good is the enemy of great,’ insofar as spreading ourselves thin across multiple fronts can dissipate our energy from the few projects that really matter, what’s also true is that getting hung up on making something ‘great’ every time is the enemy of doing any work at all.
A better approach that I have found to be effective in my own practices of acting and visual art can be summed up in the Latin proverb, “Nulla dies sulla linea.” (Not a day without a line.) The idea here is to commit to doing something, anything, to move your craft forward each day, even if it’s just to scratch a single line across the page. You show up, day after day, and make yourself consistently available to the process.
Drawing out this idea of slow and steady practice into an insightful extended metaphor, Liz Clayton Scofield likens artists to worms and the art they produce to dirt in this essay from a recent issue of Nashville Arts Magazine.
“Collectively our small gestures become something much larger together than any individual action taken or object produced. The art dirt as we shift it around may then uncover or recover or reveal some truth about our world. It may preserve something. It may change something.”
WATCH: One of my favorite people, Brian Johnson, gives us a great distillation of the book, Wired to Create, in this episode of Philosopher’s Notes TV. Very much in line with the spirit of the essay above is point #3, Creators Create.
LISTEN: I hope it’s sunny there where you are, but here in Nashville it’s a cloudy, rainy day perfect for staying indoors and moving a few projects forward a line or two. And here’s a playlist just for that sort of day.
Make this week magnificent!