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Feeling Creative”

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.

Read the whole thing.

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