The Productive Creative

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Category: Quotes


  • The cat sat on the mat…

    The cat sat on the mat…

    “‘The cat sat on the mat’ is not a story. ‘The cat sat on the dog’s mat’ is a story. — John Le Carrè

    I take this as lesson one in storytelling.

    People love to give advice on the importance of storytelling. We’re told that story sells. But it seems like the bar to storytelling can be pretty low. As if just adding a sequence of events from our lives makes it a story. Like B roll in text form.

    Then we see advice, such as the advice on what not to post on Instagram: pictures from your holiday, or you out drinking with mates.

    I love this quote from John Le Carrè because it speaks clearly about tension.


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  • The magic…

    The magic…

    “The magic of the creative process is that there is no magic” — Seth Godin

    This is a constant encouragement to me.

    I’m coming from a non-creative office job and striding out into the world of content creation. I need, sometimes, to be reminded that getting good is a matter of putting in the work.

    It is, as Seth Godin constantly tells us, a practice.



  • Creativity is not a talent…

    Creativity is not a talent…

    (B2P0)

    “Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.” — John Cleese

    This is the point that’s made by creatives like Austin Kleon and Seth Godin. They talk about creativity being a practice. It’s a capacity that can be developed.


  • Be Regular and Orderly In Your Life…

    Be Regular and Orderly In Your Life…

    “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work”

    — Gustave Flaubert

    “Be boring” says Austin Kleon.

    If I want to get my life-work done each day, then the rest of my life needs to stop being such a distraction.

    There are lots of different methods for organising projects and to-do lists, but one of them is special. One methodology has the goal of having an infinite number of things to do, but nothing on one’s mind.

    I’m going to have a second try at implementing David Allen’s Getting Things Done.