I have spent my entire career as a professional creative. I started my career in advertising as a junior copywriter and worked my way up to Chief Creative Officer. Then I Rumpelstiltskined an advertising and idea agency called The Weaponry out of paper clips, bubble gum, and Real Red by Benjamin Moore.
Away from work, I do more creating. I have written 954 blog posts at The Adam Albrecht Blog. I wrote another hundred posts at a humor blog titled You Call That Work? I’ve authored a book titled What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? I co-authored a book called The Culture Turnaround. I’ve co-created a comic strip called Kirky. And I have written and recorded several songs. One song I wrote when I was 16 was the first dance at my co-writers wedding reception. Think Always and Forever by Kip Dynamite.
I know a lot about creativity and the creative process. And I have found that most people wait for inspirational lightning to strike before they create. But Baby, I, I, I can’t wait.
What I Do Instead
I hunt the lightning every day. I put up lightning rods. I tie keys to my kite and fly it to the clouds. I erect an aluminum extension ladder to the heavens. I lasso the lightning and ride it. Like Metallica.
What that really means is that I sit down to write every morning by 6:10 am. And when I sit down to work, the inspiration comes. Every day. Without fail.
Because I have created a creative habit, the universe knows it has to deliver the electricity to my desk. Just like nature’s paperboy throwing the morning edition on the porch. (Or like Paperboy throwing Ditty my way in 1993.) And like clockwork, the electricity starts flowing my way.
I go through each day attracting bolts of inspiration the way mobile home parks attract tornadoes. My mind is always tuned for inspiration. Whatever the universe is serving, I can use. My eyes and ears are always open and taking in sparks, flickers and bolts. And because I’m always receptive, I always receive. Like Taylor Swift’s boyfriend. Or OBJ.
To be creative you have to be actively curious. Which means you are actively consuming inputs. Looking. Listening. Reading. Considering. Every day I am collecting more dots. Because creativity is nothing more than collecting dots, and then connecting your dots in new and novel ways.
Don’t wait for inspiration to strike you. Go strike the inspiration. Force it to pay attention to you every day by simply sitting down and doing the work. That’s what professional creatives do. And the juice just keeps flowing.
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