Merlin Mann on the work involved in being an artist:
But, let’s be honest. This is a tough idea to sell to folks with “real jobs” who are just looking for a diverting bit of creative tourism or who find themselves yearning for a nostalgic amble past a mostly-abandoned adolescent arts hobby. People who want to learn how to feel creative. To feel successful. To feel like an artist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
My sense, though, is that for most people who repeatedly do (and sell) creative work, this all seems a bit like wanting to feel like a world-class athlete. Because “feeling creative” produces great work in approximately the same way that “feeling like a doctor” makes you a gifted thoracic surgeon.
He’s hitting what I hope has been an enduring theme here. Regardless of talent, if you don’t show up and put in the hours, you don’t get good, and the paintings don’t get painted.