Choose twenty books about being creative and they will tell you to produce!
They aren’t wrong.
If you are a creative then create.
I think it was Seth Godin who said, real artists ship.
I am not arguing with him.
If I am a writer, then I need to stand at my desk and write. I need to complete that novel.
Recently though, I’ve become more persuaded that productivity isn’t just the end product.
If I write with a fountain pen, at some point I need to load it with ink. Without that ink, the words on the page will be invisible.
The ink is the books I’ve read, the drafts which have drifted towards the electronic storeroom or the recycling bin, the interviews I’ve heard or seen with authors, the ideas sparked by the movies and tv series I’ve watched, the conversations I’ve overheard, waking up in the middle of the night with words like a whisper in my ear . . .
Being creative is your way of life. It is you being productive.
Don’t always judge yourself by the final product.
If I write 200 words less than my target, I can easily judge myself a failure, but the interview I heard with John Le Carre, or Ian Rankin, could fuel my next two books.
Don’t stop shipping, but don’t begrudge stocktaking either.