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108: Reader Mailbag (XIII)

Your responses to "creative checklist".

Jeremy Finch
Jeremy Finch
3 min read
108: Reader Mailbag (XIII)

Last week, I shared a list.

This is a series of post-it notes I keep near my desk: Various pieces of creative wisdom and reminders to self.
It sparked some great replies!

Here's what Fire Jar readers said :


I've been enjoying the mantra of "trust what you like".

I always feel the pull of making something "palatable" and that leaves me stranded and deflated pretty often.

But when I go with what I like, I can become more a part of the process with whole self and not the fragmented "appease-others" self.

"Write fan letters to your heroes". Yeah!

One of my coworkers would spontaneously say nice, detailed things about why he liked working with people. It was a conscious effort on his part.

I try to carry that forward.

1. There is a line about packing for a trip: "Bring half of what you think you need and twice as much money".

Applied to creative work: Your final product will likely be half as long as it was and take twice as much time as expected.

2. In the end, the work is for you. Regardless of its popular reception or outcome. A job well done doesn’t always equate with recognition.

3. Inspiration comes from anywhere: But it mostly comes from living and doing something that takes you out of your usual.

It's opposite day :

⁃ Use digital formats
⁃ Write letters to yourself
⁃ Make all the money you possibly can
⁃ Get everything in front of you at once
⁃ Trust yourself
⁃ You know best
⁃ Know that criticism reflects you as a person
⁃ Practice your craft sparingly
⁃ First drafts are often the best it’s gonna get
⁃ Demand to be taken seriously
⁃ Stay up as late as you need
⁃ Seek inspiration
⁃ Get it done ASAP as possible

Anyone can do it.
But if it were easy, anyone would do it.  

Starting is fun. The middle is a grind. Finishing is fulfilling. Know what stage you’re at and embrace it, slings, arrows, and all.

This is from Mary Oliver's essay on creativity (“Of Power and Time”).

The last paragraph is $$.

Thanks for the great responses!


Original post :

107: Creative Checklist
How to do creative work (notes to self).

Other mailbags :

Mailbag - The Fire Jar
Letters to the editor. Readers respond! 📫

Season 3MailbagCollaborationsCreativity