Creativity and Persistence: A Primer

By: LeonardoTrait
There are many factors involved in creativity.

I think one of the most important is...

A Strong Desire

I'm going to start by talking about a personal passion of mine. If you could hear me sing, you'd agree I should sing solo - so low no one can tell I'm singing.

I am a horrible singer. I can't carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it.

Yet all my life I've wanted to sing.

At one point I investigated voice lessons, but they were just too expensive for something so unconnected to any other part of my life.

A few days ago I started working with a software program that is supposed to help me improve my singing voice. So far, I'm doing okay, which is to say, I sing about as well as I ever did, but now I know what I'm doing wrong.

I don't know if I can learn to sing, but I do know that if you want something, you have to go after it. Especially if you're a "creative" person and what you want is a creative goal.

I want to discuss this at length, looking at five important areas of going after creative goals.

**Know What You Want**

First, you have to know what you want. What you really want.

I want to learn to sing, as I've mentioned. But in the past, I've had other creative goals, and I've pursued them.

For many years, I wanted to "be a writer."

So I spent a lot of time writing things I didn't enjoy writing, for people I didn't enjoy working for, collecting "fees" that were laughable at best.

But I was a writer, and I could tell people I was a writer, right?

I finally realized I had to decide what I meant by "being a writer" and go after it.

For me, that was writing a very important, personal book that I could stand behind and be proud of. Of course, there was the danger that it would be important and personal only to me, but that turned out not to be the case. People have flocked to The Leonardo Trait.

Yesterday, when I ran into an old friend I hadn't seen in a dozen years and she asked me, "Are you working," I said, "Yes. I'm a writer. I work from home now." It was true, and it was what I wanted to be able to say.

The very first, very most important part of being persistent and getting what you want is knowing absolutely and without a doubt what that is.

For many people, this doesn't happen easily or all at once. It's like becoming Real, in the great children's story The Velveteen Rabbit. You have to really stick your neck out, examine what you do and don't want, and listen to what your deepest feelings say before you can know what you want.

And you have to know what you don't want. That may be the best place to start. At 28, I sat down at my desk one day in my run-down office in a state agency, where I was an assistant to an assistant to, and thought, "I don't want to turn 30 doing this. My son is six months old. I don't want him to grow up thinking this is what I do."

So I quit, and though there were many struggles along the way, I've never regretted it.

[End of Part 1]
Self Improvement and Motivation
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