Those who write a lot read a lot.
Those who compose a lot of music, listen to a lot of music.
To produce, you must take in a lot, digest and release it back in the world.
I would go so far in saying that you need to take in way, way more than you expect to produce. The relationship is far from linear.
It will be a while before you produce something of worth. There is the necessary period of training, of experimentation.
Depends on the skill. Playing Beethoven will take longer than learning Nirvana. Creating Nirvana when Nirvana doesn’t even exist will take maybe longer.
It would be wise to be ready to spend years at this stage. If it takes less time to reach your 10.000 hours, better, but at least you were ready for the worse.
And that is just to be really good.
Creating something remarkable is a slightly different beast.
Something else needs to be added to the mix.
Something that can catapult results to another dimension.
Diversity of inputs, of influences.
If you read vastly broad themes, you could become the next Stephen King if you put the work.
Great ideas are were you aren’t looking right now! Change your vision.
If you only read romances, grab a non-fiction like Gabor Maté.
If you only listen to Death Metal, start listening jazz. Or hip hop.
Every great creator has virtually the same steps.
The path toward greatness is laid bare before your eyes. But it seems so obvious that you ignore it.
The path is always strikingly similar to every innovator: they saw how a piece from another “world” could be inserted in the “world” they live.
It’s a great feat in out of itself.
To be able to even reach this level, you first need to be aware of the existence of those other worlds and listen to their different ideas.
You can only act upon the things you acknowledge, as the third man experiment has taught us. Time for a short story:
There is a little known fact about hypnosis that is illustrated by the following story:
A subject was told under hypnosis that when he was awakened he would be unable to see a third man in the room who, it was suggested to him, would have become invisible. All the “proper” suggestions to make this “true” were given, such as “you will NOT see so- and-so” etc… When the subject was awakened, lo and behold! the suggestions did NOT work.
Why? Because they went against his belief system. He did NOT believe that a person could become invisible.
So, another trial was made. The subject was hypnotized again and was told that the third man was leaving the room… that he had been called away on urgent business, and the scene of him getting on his coat and hat was described… the door was opened and shut to provide “sound effects,” and then the subject was brought out of the trance.
Guess what happened?
He was UNABLE TO SEE the Third Man.
Why? Because his perceptions were modified according to his beliefs. Certain “censors” in his brain were activated in a manner that was acceptable to his ego survival instincts.
The ways and means that we ensure survival of the ego are established pretty early in life by our parental and societal programming. This conditioning determines what IS or is NOT possible; what we are “allowed” to believe in order to be accepted. We learn this first by learning what pleases our parents and then later we modify our belief based on what pleases our society – our peers – to believe.
Anyway, to return to our story, the Third Man went about the room picking things up and setting them down and doing all sorts of things to test the subject’s awareness of his presence, and the subject became utterly hysterical at this “anomalous” activity! He could see objects moving through the air, doors opening and closing, but he could NOT see the SOURCE because he did not believe that there was another man in the room.
So, what are the implications of this factor of human consciousness? (By the way, this is also the reason why most therapy to stop bad habits does not work – they attempt to operate against a “belief system” that is imprinted in the subconscious that this or that habit is essential to survival.)
One of the first things we might observe is that everyone has a different set of beliefs based upon their social and familial conditioning, and that these beliefs determine how much of the OBJECTIVE reality anyone is able to access.
In the above story, the objective reality IS WHAT IT IS, whether it is truly objective, or only a consensus reality. In this story, there is clearly a big part of that reality that is inaccessable to the subject due to a perception censor which was activated by the suggestions of the hypnotist. That is to say, the subject has a strong belief, based upon his CHOICE as to who or what to believe – the hypnotist or his own, unfettered observations of reality. In this case, he has chosen to believe the hypnotist and not what he might be able to observe if he dispensed with the perception censor put in place by the hypnotist who activated his “belief center” – even if that activation was fraudulent.
And so it is with nearly all human beings: we believe the hypnotist – the “official culture” – and we are able, with preternatural cunning, to deny what is often right in front of our faces. And in the case of the hypnosis subject, he is entirely at the mercy of the “Invisible Man” because he chooses not to see him.
Let’s face it: we are all taught to avoid uncomfortable realities. Human beings – faced with unpleasant truths about themselves or their reality – react like alcoholics who refuse to admit their condition, or the cuckolded husband who is the “last to know,” or the wife who does not notice that her husband is abusing her daughter.
And the only way to avoid being the frightened man is by broadening your view and becoming aware of the “third man”, those unseen forces everywere.
To be a better creator, you need to widen your view, incorporate opposing viewpoints and so on.
The greatest rivers of untapped criativity are where you aren’t looking right now.
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