In a medium post, Jason Fried mentioned that “If you want to contribute something original, it may be best to stay away from those who might inspire you too much.”
He shared this video on Roger W. Smith over at HODINKEE:
I quite agree with his position on creating good/original work requires a certain level of concentration that too much ‘inspiration’ will distract you from.
Sure! It is cool to be inspired. I immerse myself in a lot of creative inventions around me and online, but sometimes inspiration leaves you stuck in ‘want to dos’ and cramps your style with self-sabotaging thoughts.
I’ll share a few tips that help me get stuff done and create in my own voice and style.
1. I write down all my ideas, every single one of them. My notepad/inote is filled with my different thought patterns and ideas. I also break them down into bits – achievable bits. Even if I can’t break all the parts down, the first thing to do to get it done is written down.
2. I don’t read more than two pieces before writing. So, if what I want to do is write a piece or develop content, I restrict myself to reading not more than two articles or inspiring work before I write. This is so I don’t get Carried away in another man’s world and forget to work on what I’m supposed to be working on.
3. I don’t aim for perfection on the first go. I just focus on getting the actual gritty mind-lunging work out first and fine tune it later. It sounds cliche, but, perfection is a slippery slope that sends you off into the wrong direction. You start off with a creation in mind and then perfection starts scratching at the door like an indecisive cat. Before you know it you’ve lost touch on why you wanted to do the thing in the first place.
4. I distance myself from ‘industry news’. So and so just got acquired, That dude over there and sons just made their first billion. Fantastic news! But very distracting for getting actual work done. When you follow too much news, you start fussing over unproductive things and you start pushing half-baked work into the open.
5. I’ve started practicing a certain level of mindfulness. This means that I am more aware of positive things and I see more beauty and love. This reflects on my work and getting things done. I push negative thoughts out easily and focus on how much I love doing what I do.
Do what you want to do. Make the things you need to make. Don’t get over influenced and get stifled.