77 - The message is more important than the work


In a previous podcast (thesparkandtheart.com/11) I talked about how the work is more important than the art it creates. The more work you do the better you get at it. The more little errors you make along the way the more opportunities you have to try things differently the next time. 

If the work is more important than the art you know what is more important than the work?

The message. The why. The reason you do the work. The reason the spark goes from smile and  excitment to actual act of bringing it to reality. 

In our last two interviews, both guests said very similar things. 

David B. Goldstein said of his book Creative You. 

 “My intention wasn’t to be an author. My intention was to share this idea."

He had such a profound insight that he spent six years from his spark to having a finished book. Six years is not really a short amount of time. During that time, he kept researching. Kept writing. And when he was done, the publisher said you'll need to rewrite it if it's to be published. So he rewrote it. 

Why? Because the message he wanted to share with creatives was more important than the work he'd already done. 

He said it could easily have been a series of blog posts; it didn't really matter what format the message took as long as it was shared. 

Last week's chat was with art therapist David Gussak, who works with prison populations helping violent criminals find the help they need to build themselves back from the dehumanizing experience of prison life. 

David said:

“I feel compelled to write. I feel driven to write. But I don’t like writing. What I do love is editing.”

He doesn't like writing and considers himself a bad writer. Yet has written books and academic papers and has a recurring blog on PsychologyToday.com. He writes because his message is more important than the work. He believes so strongly in the value of art therapy and other arts-based therapies that he does it so others can see its value as well. 

Now me personally, I also don’t like writing. I don’t particularly like editing, either. I like talking, though; that’s why I do a podcast. The irony is that I write down the entire podcast and then read it back. I think the reason I don’t like editing is because that would make it easier for someone to read but a little harder for me to sound like I’m just speaking. In fact, I’m so bad at both editing and writing that I have someone who proofreads my stuff before I put it up on the show notes page to ensure that I don’t look like a moron. Thanks Daryl, I really appreciate it. And so the do the people who read the show notes pages. (You can find Daryl on twitter @DarylSuttie and you can talk about the proper ways to use a semicolon and he can tell you about how atrocious the spelling and punctuation of shows are when I write the episode on my phone during my commute.) But if someone offers me a book deal, you can bet I’m gonna do the work to write my message for people to read. What is my message? Everyone is creative. Every single person. Everyone can get stuff done if they make one place to do their work, schedule time to do their work and, of course, do their work. And everyone, from professional movie directors to songwriters with one song written, have the same fears and anxieties about their creative work and it’s the artist's job to deal with them and just get their stuff out of their heads and into real physical form so they can find their own emotions or share their work with someone else so they can find their emotions. 

Here is where you get to do some thinking

  • What is it you are trying to say with what you create?
  • Is there deep and meaningful message you want to share with others?
  • Is there a silly and nonsensical message you want to share with others?
  • Or is your creative work a personal meditation that allows you to quiet down from daily stresses?

If you head to TheSparkandtheart.com/77 you can find the show notes for this episode which includes links to the episodes and other sites mentioned. 

And I've getting some really nice feedback in iTunes. Ryan L. Sink of the U.S. said:

“Very Motivational - This is going to get you not only started on your creative project but actually following through with the entire project as well."

Thanks Ryan L. Sink of the U.S., I appreciate you taking the time to write that. 

If you have a spare moment to leave an honest review in iTunes that would be very very helpful to the podcast. I've created a short cut for you. Go to TheSparkAndTheArt.com/itunes and it’ll take you right to the show page. (Hopefully. I've been having a few glitches with these forwards and I'm looking to find a new way to do them.)

Lastly, come agree or disagree or agree to disagree with me on twitter @sparkartpodcast

Thanks for listening, and remember: you won’t get the art without the work and you wont do the work without the spark.