I read this book a little while back and am going through it a second time. This time around I’m going to be posting some excerpts and thoughts as I go. 1. Ignore everybody.
The more original your idea is, the less good advice other people will be able to give you. When I first started with the cartoon-on-back-of-bizcard format, people thought I was nuts. Why wasn’t I trying to do something more easy for markets to digest i.e. cutey-pie greeting cards or whatever?
So true but often very overwhelming and very counter to how we’ve been conditioned. As artists we get ideas all the time and I’m not sure about you but I think most of us let the majority of those ideas slip by. We can easily convince ourselves that the idea isn’t really as grand as we first thought (when the rush of emotion is tied to it). Our brains start to resist by throwing in a dash of doubt and the reality that solid ideas require lots of work and follow through. Somebody else can do it better or already has, right? I’ve seen this pattern play out in my life over and over. I believe the first step in over coming this is to acknowledge this resistence.
Nobody knows for sure whether an original idea is going to be good, or even great. But the fact that it came to you one night at 3am or during a quick daydream during an important office meeting means something and I think you should go with that gut instinct.
This chapter touches on the fact that original ideas that start to take root and grow will also begin to change you. This makes sense for sure. You have a great idea that you believe in and you start putting things together with the crayons, glue, and paper and get all excited about it. You’re glowing from the inside out and some people might not like that, they might be put off because of the natural cynicism this world imbeds in us. They’ll compare themselves to you and may start to feel inadequate because more of your attention is on this ‘idea’ and why don’t they have an ‘idea.’ etc. They’ll shoot those little doubting phrases at you about how its not practical or even just give you the little “Hmm, yeah, I like it,” and then change the subject while you over analize the glint in his eye and tone of his inauthentic, artist destroying voice. You can see how some little feelings and observations can snowball into massive self doubt which can snuff out the flame.
Bottom line is. When you have an idea that is your own. Don’t compare it to anything else out there. Don’t you dare care about how it measures up to someone elses idea. Put in the work and chase the light, make it happen and realize you will face resistance along the way. The journey is never easy. Even just flying from Denver to San Diego for a beach vacation isn’t easy, you’ll be so excited about the destination that you’ll speed past the sneaky police officer who is about to write you a ticket that cost half as much as the vacation. Don’t let that stuff ruin everything. Put a smile on your face and keep driving. Right?
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