Jay Shirley

Striving to be a man of gallantry and taste

Creating Creativity

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There has been a pattern in my life which I’m sure is familiar to many.

I cannot control my creativity

How frustrating it is when I can spend 30 minutes and produce more than other times in 10 hours! I love when random moments of brilliance happen, but it’s not just Flow). The spirit of creativity: creation without caring about fear or overconfidence. These moments are rare and I want more of them. They bring insights, pleasure and enjoyment.

Creativity is a fragile ecosystem, everything has to be in balance. When there is fear it cannot happen, but there has to be pressure to create. Sometimes this pressure is external, in most cases this is an intrinsic pressure. I need to create.

I set expectations for myself, the expectations of others matter less. The expectations I set for myself surpass those set upon me. The expectations for myself are better in all ways, except one.

Expectations can create fear. That fear should be balanced by the confidence in our competence. Competence is hard to get right; many over-estimate their confidence and competence. Stop thinking about confidence, or even competency. Instead, focus on the best thing you can do. Then do the best you can do.

If you set out to do the best possible job, to put yourself so thoroughly into the outcome that you die a little when it’s finished, you’ll find that creative spark.

That creative spark is there because it’s a part of you. Without your best effort, there isn’t any you in the product. There’s just your fear and confidence.