Friday, January 2, 2009

Merlin Mann

Merlin Mann has another home run. As the holiday is ending and work is coming my way, I'm starting to feel anxious. Lots of work to do, and there's not much of a safety net. And I'm anxious and a little depressed. The drumbeat of our "tough economic climate" is slowly sapping my initiative. ....I wonder if I have the energy to bring it all to the game again. Right now.

Here's the answer. I either do or I don't. Don't mythologize it. Don't wait for inspiration to strike. Don't wait until you feel like it.

Work. It's work. Stop waiting to feel like a success and start being a success. Stop feeling sorry for yourself...stop wishing it was easier. Answer a question, it just gets harder. Get used to it. It isn't going away.
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.

Let’s Talk About My Feelings

The athlete got good not by reading reviews of headbands, but by waking up early, lacing shoes in the dark, and hitting the track to train hard. While the surgeon got good not by watching reruns of Trapper John, M.D., but by slogging through medical school, residencies, and hundreds of hours of face time with patients, colleagues, and mentors. “Feeling” had nothing to do with it.

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