Some days I look at my medium stats, or my WordPress stats, or the number of sign ups to Sunday Letters and all I see is tumbleweed. “Christ, look at all the work I’m doing and not so much as a sinner turned up to read my shit today. What the fuck am I doing here”, I say to myself. It can be very deflating but the good news is there’s something we can do about it.
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The Artist’s Manifesto
The Artist’s Manifesto is for Storymakers – creative people. It is your call to return to the passion of your craft, your creative works, to create beautiful and unique things purely for the sake of it. It asks you to disregard the need for recognition and applause, and instead embrace your true creative spirit. This is the only way we can find true success in our work. Enter your details to download your free copy.
We hold high this apparent virtue in western society with regard to success and achievement. It’s especially so with men, and goes something like this; Never give up your dreams. Winners never quit, quitters never win. Finish what you started, see it through to the end no matter what. But then again, we can choose to get out too early. So how do we know?
William James was an American physician, philosopher and psychologist often referred to as the father of American psychology. He was responsible for publishing many influential works during his lifetime, of which the article “Habit” published in February 1887 is one. Here we can see how the basic principles of habit formation have not changed.
Hear voices in your head? I do. My guess is, like everyone else on this planet, you also do. Of course I’ve not interviewed everyone on the planet but this is my long considered view. I don’t hear multiple voices, I just hear one. It appears to be me, has my accent, language and so on. It’s usually a passive thing and it engages in questions and answers with itself. But there’s no sound, just the thoughts.
Everyone is an artist, and everyone has the potential to create art in their work if they choose to. But very few of us choose to. For most of us, work is a means to an end. It’s something that we’d rather not do but we do it because we have to. We have made our commitments, primarily to others, and we’ve got to keep them. The goals we have are largely head goals and they are rarely our own.
When we talk about purposeless creative play we are not talking about aimless activity devoid of meaning. Play indeed does have meaning, however we adults often assign meaning only to activities that appear to satisfy our need for logical outcomes. That’s not surprising given that the standard working model for life is; study, get a job, contribute for 40 years then retire.