Creative volume beats talent any day.
July 4, 2023
In the journey of any creative endeavor, the most important component is not raw talent or innate ability but rather the volume of creation – the sheer quantity of work produced.
To me, the most important component to the creative craft is the volume of creation. The amount of things you are [building | designing | creating | writing]. The creative volume.
The magic of the creative process is that there is no magic. - Seth Godin
All successful artists know this. To get tremendously good at something, you need to dedicate countless hours to your craft. You need to engage in the practice. And be patient. And if you stick with it long enough, you will find your version of success.
What it comes down to is how you treat your creative craft. Are you a beginner or professional? Beginners treat their craft like a hobby. Doing it when they feel like it. Professionals bring the required discipline to the craft and stay consistent. They won't let distractions get in the way of their craft. This way, they can create more.
For writers, it's not about producing their best writing when staring at the blank page. It's about getting words out no matter how crappy they are. This is how you beat writer's block.
For producers, it's not about over perfecting this one song idea when in a studio session. It's about producing dozens of ideas quickly and then selecting.
For photographers, it's not about waiting for that perfect moment and then hitting the trigger. It's about capturing many moments and deciding after.
Creative volume is all that matters.
For this, you need to leave judgment out. Acknowledging that creative volume is a factor you cannot shortcut, it's about producing a lot of crappy work and selecting later. One must set aside their inner critic during the creation process and focus on output.
What about talent? You need some degree of it. But hard work in the creative pursuit beats talent over time easily. The significance of talent diminishes as you dedicate thousands of hours to your craft.
Creative volume is the representation of your creative muscle. And you need to train it with this mindset. The moment you understand this, things get easier. You don't need justification for spending countless hours on your craft because you know that this is the only way to succeed. You just do it. You just increase your creative volume. Engaging in the practice.
Focus on your creative volume. Ignore the rest. Producing a high volume of work—of training the creative muscle tirelessly—is the key to mastery and success in any creative endeavor.