“Start before you’re ready.” — Steven Pressfield
Do you wait for inspiration before taking action?
Imagine if athletes practiced only when they felt inspired. Inspiration is a gift, but not something you count on every day.
Put your focus on mastering your craft and let inspiration happen. When it does, you’ll be ready for it.
In The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, Steven Pressfield writes about how professionals don’t wait for inspiration.
Concentrate on Technique
Focus on technique over waiting for inspiration.
Via The War of Art:
“A pro views her work as craft, not art. Not because she believes are is devoid of a mystical dimension.
On the contrary.
She understands that all creative endeavor is holy, but she doesn’t dwell on it. she knows if she thinks about that too much, it will paralyze her. So she concentrates on technique.
The professional masters how, and leaves what and why to the gods. Like Somerset Maugham she doesn’t wait for inspiration, she acts in the anticipation of its apparition.
The professional is acutely aware of the intangibles that go into inspiration.
Out of respect for them, she lets them work.
She grants them their sphere while she concentrates on hers.”
The Professional Just Does the Work
The professional doesn’t need glory or mystery – they just focus on doing their job well.
Via The War of Art:
“The sign of the amateur is over-glorification of and preoccupation with the mystery.
The professional shuts up. She doesn’t talk about it. She does her work.”
Key Take Aways
Here are my key take aways:
- Don’t wait for inspiration. Inspiration isn’t something you should count on, but you should be able to leverage it when it happens. The key is to create more opportunities for your inspiration to be unleashed.
- Focus on mastering your craft. The key here is to focus on what you control. You have control over your techniques and routines. By improving your techniques and routines, you set yourself up for success. When you have your moments of inspiration, your skill and routines will serve you well.
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Photo by super leeds 1992.