It’s always interesting when a post your wrote months ago suddenly gets new life. There’s been a huge resurgence of interest in my Thoughts for Bloglings post from last July, which got me thinking about other lessons I’ve learned this past year.
A lot of people don’t know that I’m a passionate about creativity and the arts. There are so many lessons that the logical, left-brained business world can learn from our creative, right-brained counterparts. For example, I remember a lesson from my Art History professor in college. He taught us what a prolific artist Pablo Picasso was. The 20th Century great was constantly drawing and painting – morning, noon and night. He produced artwork with the same regularity that accountants produce spreadsheets. The result? To paraphrase Professor Thompson: "he produced a lot of crap, but the sheer volume of his work allowed his thoughts and his art to grow and evolve so that out of the crap a masterpiece would emerge."
The same is true of America’s greatest 20th century composer: Duke Ellington. I was watching Ken Burns’ Jazz yesterday and learned how incessantly Ellington wrote music. His pencil was always in his hand writing on napkins and menus. He wrote on the train, he wrote at the dinner table, he wrote in the bath tub. He wrote Solitude in 20 minutes while waiting to get into a recording studio. He wrote Black and Tan Fantasy in a taxi cab driving through Central Park. He wrote Mood Indigo in fifteen minutes while he waited for his mother to finish cooking dinner.
The lesson? Post. Post often. Post always. Post thoughts. Post musings. Post your best notes from that conference. Post the most important lesson you learned from last week’s sermon at church. Post links. Post your dreams. Post that joke that came to your head. Post the cute thing that your daughter said. Keep a jotter or pocket notebook to jot down ideas as they come to you. Post them. Don’t put the pressure on yourself to produce a masterpiece every time you sit down at the keyboard. Post, post, post, post, and then post some more. Be willing to make mistakes. Be willing to be wrong. Be willing to post crap, and once in a while, a blogging masterpiece will emerge.
I guarantee you, your masterpiece posts won’t be the ones you thought they would. The post you spend an hour crafting as a masterpiece will die on the vine, while the five-minute post you throw up while you’re waiting for your spouse to finish dinner yields links, track-backs, and visitors beyond what you would ever have imagined.