I used to ascribe to the creative genius myth. Hell, I checked all the boxes. A mind that raves, decisions that were more destructive than transformative but left me with a plethora of inspiration, finding romance too quickly and letting it fizzle fast, using the inspiration of others before investing in myself. There was no lack of stereotypes I ticked. Eventually, the fountain dries up at the source, and you are left staring at a blank page.

Inspiration is a myth. Muses are cheap thrills you find for heartbeats. Caffeine, alcohol, and substance drips only get you so far before they fade. Music, songs that will spark a passion become elevator music when given repetition. The magic of places becomes a photo we’ve seen too often. Every pretend source of inspiration is like an optical illusion. Once you figure out the trick, you can never unsee it. Once tapped, “inspiration” goes out the door. You are left seeking the next high, but it won’t come.

And when you find yourself stuck, especially after the last creative peak you experienced, it is damning. It makes you want to quit. You will quit.

Or learn.

Creativity is a skill. A practice. An effort. An exercise. A workout. A habit. A routine. It is these and more. It is the information you are consuming, the art you are partaking, the experiences you are enjoying. And it manifests in the down times, the moments we do nothing but wash dishes or walk to work and allow our mind the opportunity to masticate the abundance of thoughts swimming throughout our brain.

Creativity takes time. It takes investment. If you never venture, you never gain.

Do not wait for it. The pen won’t pick up itself.


And the first time you do, understand it is going to be rubbish. The second time you will, it is rubbish. The third time is passable. Hell, maybe the fourth time you generate a masterpiece.

And then the fifth time is back to rubbish.

You are going to make a lot of rubbish, no matter how much you invest into it. You will go through patterns that do not make sense that your mind might seek to divine, but life will have better ideas. You could have made the best, and the next day it will be absolute bullshit.

Get used to it.

For a while, I have studied creativity. And for a while, I too bought into the myths. Then pop culture came out with studies, books about 10,000 hours that promised if you did enough work, it was your inheritance.

These are both bullshit.

Creativity is resilience. Not against just the critics. Not past the feedback. But against yourself.

People think that because you are creative, you are going to be awash with inspiration, spark, fire and passion.

You are not. Being creative can be one of the most boring things you do because it requires the resilience of persistence.

Be resilient.

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