How is it that some composers and performers are simply more productive than others? Why are some artists able to get so much more done? Is it a matter of genes? Of motivation or confidence? Of how our brains are wired?
We all grew up with stories and examples of wildly prolific artists—Mozart, Picasso, Joyce Carol Oates. What’s worse, interviews with artists tend to glamorize the first flash of inspiration and the finished masterpiece, avoiding the often protracted slog in between: the setbacks, self-doubt, wheel spinning, wrong turns, and all the attempts to give up.
When our work is stalled, we may blame it on our lack of time and support, our distractions, negative self-talk, perfectionism, procrastination, and fear. (Or at least I do.)
And it’s easy to imagine that other artists have all this figured out and that for them, creative work is a joy and ideas and solutions come easily. While this may be the case for some lucky bastards, all too often, artists struggle alone and isolated.
Creative productivity is a topic that’s often avoided because it’s connected to other sensitive mysteries such as talent, inspiration, self-esteem, and potential. Some folks don’t want to look too closely at their creative work habits for fear this will bring up the very demons they turned to music in the first place to avoid. One way or another, we all have demons that need to be faced.
This week, we’re courageously diving into the deep end to examine how artists get creative work done, despite inner critics, day jobs, and low self-esteem.
This week is your opportunity to explore strategies to help you work at your best and access the flow state more often. We’ll be focusing on ways to organize ourselves, our time, and our ideas to make more room for the muse to show up. We’ll look at how we tap into inspiration and how we get past what Steven Pressfield terms Resistance, the force that can prevent us from realizing our potential.
News flash: there’s no magic bullet, no “one size fits all” solution. But there are tools and resources and we’ll be sharing them—along with stories to illustrate our common struggles and triumphs.
During NewMusicBox’s Creative Productivity Theme Week, join us for a special 5-day challenge to help you boost your artistic output, get more done, and make the new year your best yet. A host of writers are contributing posts this week and we’ll have a daily FB live discussion (12 noon ET, 9 am PT) to focus on key challenges and the strategies many artists have used to overcome them.
We’ll be looking at mindsets, focus, and work habits that help boost productivity, creativity, and confidence. But the conversation needs YOU—your participation. We’re crowd sourcing a creative productivity toolbox so tune in and speak up! Let’s help each other as a community of creatives.
As we head into a new year, this is an ideal time to get real about the obstacles that have held us back. It’s time to re-tool. Let’s set ourselves up to make 2018 a year of creative breakthroughs.
Let’s get our creative productivity on!
As in our previous theme week iterations—focused on education, mental health, creativity, and music and money—we’ll be exploring broadly.
We hope you and lots of others will get involved in Creative Productivity week: reading, thinking, commenting, sharing, discussing.
New posts and video coming every day this week! Check back here for the full index.
- Creative Productivity Challenge Day 1: Creativity Habits
- Creative Productivity Challenge Day 2: Self-Messaging
- Creative Productivity Challenge Day 3: Purpose
- Creative Productivity Challenge Day 4: Process
- Creative Productivity Challenge Day 5: Confidence
- When Everything Utterly Sucks by Dale Trumbore
- On Starting by David Morneau
- Burnout is a b****. Let’s avoid it. By Megan Ihnen
- The Art of Play By Danny Clay
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I help musicians get unstuck—to get past the obstacles that have prevented them from reaching their potential. I wrote the book, “Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music,” and am a consultant, author, and speaker. In my previous life I directed the Center for Music Entrepreneurship at Manhattan School of Music and ran the career programs at Indiana University and New England Conservatory. Now I’ve gone “rogue,” working with individuals, ensembles, and institutional clients to facilitate change. Check me out at http://AngelaBeeching.com