Work Break Painting II. Trying a new way of working so that I can get a composition down more quickly: no under sketch, just going straight “pen tool” to make selections, and painting large swatches of color. It’s forcing me to make bold decisions, which is providing some interesting results.
People always look for excuses. My favorite one is, “Well that’s easy for you because you have a really popular blog.” As if my really popular blog was something I won in the lottery. I had a really unpopular blog for three years in a row where 10 or 20 people were reading it. When I got started in the book business, I received 900 rejection letters. So you don’t look at the end result — at the Richard Bransons and Maria Popovas — and say, “Well they have that thing that I don’t.” They got that thing by showing up. I am really focused on helping people understand that not showing up is a failure of will more than it is a failure of birth.
As Tchaikovsky put it, “A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood.” Or, per Isabel Allende, “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.”
More on the role of showing up in creative work here.
Also see Godin on vulnerability and how to dance with the fear of failure.