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Perfectionism is the Ego’s Wicked Demand

Perfectionism is the enemy, not the friend of creativity. When we try to get something “right”— meaning perfect— we create a debilitating loop, as we focus only on fixing what we see as wrong and are blind to what is right. The perfectionist re-draws the chin line until there is a hole in the paper. […]


In the moment of creation, we are ageless

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In the moment of creation, we are ageless. We feel both young at heart and old and wise. “Artists work until the end,” my photographer friend Robert said to me yesterday. Yes, they do. This is why retirement from one career— even if it is our major career— is not, by any means, “the end.” […]


The Wish to be Original

The root of the word “original” is origin. We are the origin of our work. It is the ego’s demand that our work be totally original-— as if such a thing were possible. All work is influenced by other work. All people are influenced by other people. No man is an island and no piece […]


Enthusiasm over Discipline

“It must take so much discipline to be an artist,” we are often told by well-meaning people who are not artists but wish they were. What a temptation. What a seduction. They’re inviting us to preen before an admiring audience, to act out the image that is so heroic and Spartan– and false. As artists, […]


It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again

Twenty-five years ago I wrote a book on creativity called The Artist’s Way. It spelled out, in a step-by-step fashion, just what a person could do to recover— and exercise— their creativity. I often called that book “The Bridge” because it allowed people to move from the shore of their constrictions and fears to the […]


Risk: Leap and [then] the net will appear

I belive in risk. I don’t believe in luck. I do believe in synchronicity. You may call this semantic quibbling, but I don’t think so. Luck is something that happens to us. Synchronicity is something that begins in our consciousness. Risk is something we undertake. Luck is passive. We trigger synchronicity. We trigger it through […]


Taming Time

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Try this: Most of us procrastinate when it comes to time. We tell ourselves we “don’t have enough time to do X,” an activity or undertaking that frightens us. The truth is that it is not our lack of time that is the issue, it is our lack of courage. Take pen in hand and […]


Social Media and Creative Energy

Week Three

For many artists, social media is a mixed blessing. Easily addictive yet highly connective, it works best for us as an addition to our art rather than as a substitute for it. The danger of social media is that in our hunger for connection, we pour out our creative energies into a barrage of emails, […]


Let Yourself Write

If we didn’t have to worry about being published and being judged, how many of us would write a novel just for the joy of making one? Why should we think of writing a novel as something we couldn’t try– the way an amateur carpenter might build a simple bookcase or even a picnic table? […]


Finish Something

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As artists, we often complain about our inability to begin. If only I had the nerve to start X– a novel, a short story, the rewrite on our play, the photo series we’re “thinking” of. I would like to suggest that you start somewhere else– start with finishing something. There must be some obscure law […]