Some of you want to be a musician and that’s awesome. Others of you want to be a writer, actor, artist, or maybe a magician. That’s awesome too. Some of you want to be a serial killer and THAT’S NOT AWESOME.
You daydream. You have your Oscar acceptance speech already prepared. You’ve practiced your interview for the Tonight Show when Jimmy Fallon asks you about your new “project” (I used to do this all the time). You doodle in class, sing in the shower, perform stand-up at dinner.
For most of us the problem isn’t that we don’t know what we want to become. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We’ve got our answer locked down. We know where we are, and we know where we want to be, but we have no idea how to get there.
This is where I was stuck my senior in high school. I wanted to be a stand-up comedian but I had no idea how someone becomes a stand-up comedian. I searched everywhere for a step by step breakdown of what I needed to do to “make it,” but that doesn’t exist. There’s no book or website that says “start doing this, then go here, find this kind of person and say this, then start trying this, and then you’ll be famous.” Nope. There’s no set path. I can’t copy someone else’s story.
If you’re a singer trying to make a name for yourself you can’t just watch that Katy Perry documentary, Katy Perry: Part of Me (which may or may not have made me cry), and say “ok. I’ll just do that. I’ll just do exactly what Katy Perry did.” That won’t work. You’ve got to go your own way.
Even though I can’t give you a precise step by step process to find your creative fulfillment, I can share with you some rules for creativity that I made up…I mean….discovered….through hard work.
RULES FOR BEING CREATIVE
1.Just do it.
You want to make music? Go make music! You want to write a book? Write a book! You want to murder someone? NO! DON’T DO THAT!
You don’t have to wait until you’re out of high school or college. You don’t have to wait for someone to give you permission or tell you it's a good idea. Just start. Today.
We live in an incredible time. You have more technological capabilities in your phone than The Beatles ever had when recording their albums. You want to write a book? You can self publish. Want to make a short film? Share it with the world on Youtube. Want to write and perform a play? Grab some friends and rent out a space in your city. It’s easy. There’s so much potential at your finger tips. All you have to do is reach out!
2. Stay off social media
It's a horrible distraction that will ruin everything and suck away all your time.
3. There are no rules
4. There are a few rules.
What was I saying? Sorry. I was just checking Facebook. IT'S BEEN 5 HOURS?! How was I on my phone that long?! I need to go to bed!!!
11. You see? Don't get distracted.
12. Make a lot of terrible garbage at first
This isn’t my rule. This is advice from Ira Glass, the host of This American Life. Watch this video and be inspired.
13. No idea is too dumb to try.
14. Balloon animals are really hard. Avoid working with them.
16. Always skip the number 15
It's the true unlucky number. You know how everyone 13 is unlucky? Well, 15 is the one who started that rumor. You all fell right into his little trap. 15 is a horrible and unlucky monster. That's why all 15 year olds are meanest kids you'll ever meet. SKIP 15!
17. This was my lucky number growing up.
18. For real, just do it!
Why are you still reading this? Go write or paint or sing or act or take a shower. You haven’t showered in several days and you’re starting to smell. You’re mom paid me $10 to put this in my post. Go shower and then you can go work on your creative pursuit. Close the gap. Don’t get distracted. You don’t need anyone’s permission. Chase after who you want to be. You can’t copy someone else’s path so it’s time to start making your own.
19. Give me a shout out when you become famous
Check out this other source for inspiration.
What inspires you when you're trying to be creative? Share in the comments.