How to self-start your creative day

A dose of inspiration from Fastcodesign for all you creatives out there having that tough moment of self-starting.

The funny thing about realizing a creative vision–whether it’s a startup or a personal project–is that it requires a set of working rules that is almost the opposite of the slow, careful deliberation that typically rules our working lives. Usually, we sit in meetings to figure out the best way to do something. That’s because the stakes are higher when you’ve already got a company and a brand to protect. But when you have nothing yet, those stakes go out the window. The most precious thing you have is momentum–the energy that will see your vision through.

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.

These maxims are really a super concise and clear way of restating one of the founding tenets of so-called design thinking: The idea of creating prototypes as soon as you can, and failing as fast as possible so you can evolve your way to something great. It isn’t to say that you have to make these failures public. But the failures have to be made and not just thought about.


5 thoughts on “How to self-start your creative day”

  1. I like this article , I am passionate about music , intellectual property and poetry and I have a creative start up which is keeping me up at night .Its all I want to do but keep procastinating on somethings because they are out of my comfort zone but already implementing part of my ideas

    1. Hey Ruethediva, where can I read more about your creative startup? Sometimes when you want to aim at things outside your comfort zone it helps to commit to it before the people you trust and whose opinion you value. They will help you hold you accountable to your own commitments.

      1. Hi Steppes In Sync not much content a viable yet online.We had set up a monthly event for female musicians to perform and it worked perfectly for 4 months as we gotsupport partners However, these organisations have since shutdown because of Zimbabwe’s economic challenges.I am officially without sponsors for the program and it was just a component of what I was trying to do.Now I’m back on square 1 trying to develop a concept that works.Very frustrated at this point

      2. Frustration is part of the creative process. Your mind is now searching for new creative solutions to your situation, Africanzimdiva. I was in Harare this past October-November helping Afriwood film distributors with project development. It was a bit frustrating I have to admit. But yet again if there is a creative leader with a vision on your team that person won’t let you stop in your pursuits

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