“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
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I love that quotation.
I’d like to act all high and mighty and say, “What?! You haven’t read Flaubert?? Duuude!” But, the only Flaubert I’ve read is this one line. Still, it sure has stuck with me, because it’s such good advice. In fact, it’s good for anyone who fancies him or herself a creative.
If I may be allowed a wee generalization, we creative types are complete knuckleheads. Because the very thing that makes us slightly weird and left-of-center, also makes us procrastinators and – hey look, a shiny object – distractible.
This is why I’ve been telling juniors for years “to temper your Irish with German.” (Another one of my favorite quotations).
Temper your Irish with German.
See, the Irish is the fun part, the party dude, the part that produces brilliance out of the clear blue. German? Well, I guess that’s the part that has some discipline and follows the rules. The German part fills out his time sheet so the Irish part can get paid and go out drinking.
But I digress.
So, today’s assignment is to go get this little book and inhale it. Its title sorta says it all: Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, & Sharpen Your Creative Mind.
Authors Jocelyn Glei and Scott Belsky have filled this book with cool chapters full of brilliant advice and titles like “Training Your Mind To Be Ready for Insight” and “How To Create Amidst Chaos.”
The chapters are short (perfect for us ADD’s) and the book isn’t but 240 pages long. I highly recommend it. There are tons of books out there about creativity (mine included) but very few address this issue of using discipline to sharpen one’s creative edge.