Today I'm going to have lunch with a guy majoring in Creative Writing at the University of North Texas. My mom ran into him at J.C. Penny's, where he works, and was impressed. Since my mom has five degrees, I listen when she says someone is 'sharp.' If I only tell this guy one thing, it will be this: Do whatever it takes to be creative over the long haul.
Read 'How to Be Creative' by Hugh MacLeod. (Warning, Hugh has a colorful vocabulary and is crude at times. If this is going to bug you, please don't read his blog or his book. If you read his stuff and get offended, don't come back crying to me. I warned you. Additionally, if you flame him on his blog, I don't want to know you.) Hugh's book helped me at a time where I had spent almost all the emotional capital I had trying to be trying to be a 'writer.' My wife was particularly thankful for Hugh's 'Sex and The Cash Theory' because I finally got it and grew up at the age of 28. Hugh taught me how to position myself for the long haul and I'm very grateful for his book.
Consistency will knock out 95% of the competition. Consistency is a rare thing among creative types. Consequently, if you develop a reputation for consistency, you will rise above the rest. Look at C.S. Lewis. Look at J.R.R Tolkien. They were consistently creative over their lifetimes. They made a difference and continue to make a difference.
I want my craft to make a difference in my lifetime and for many lifetimes to come. How about you?
This post is a part of the Watercooler Wednesday conversation over at Ethos. You can read today's discussion here.