I’m currently working on a new project called Prolific, which is the art and science of collecting, creating and communicating your ideas.
The system I’ve built will eventually become a book, a curriculum and some kind of software application. Last week, I shared part one of the glossary, in case you missed it.
This week, I have another collection of terms to help you rewrite your creative vocabulary. Each definition has a link to a related piece that explains it further. Enjoy.
motivational currency that overrides your excuses, activates your natural
inclinations and moves you
Existential distresses or identity crises in which our motivation for doing
something is just to feel normal again.
all of our passions in play, investing in multiple containers of meaning, using our
strengths to do what we do best and leaving no faculty unharvested.
calories. Channeling your jealousy into something productive instead of
crafting your envy into something hateful.
The creator’s obligation to empty himself of any expectations, perceptions,
hierarchies and value chains attached to his ideas.
Creative Commitment. A theoretical constraint of treating your art as a daily practice, professionalizing your art and using daily momentum to keep yourself from feeling detached from the process.
Treat everything we encounter with fundamental affirmation and radical
Delayed gratification. Staying the course, risking today’s time for tomorrow’s treasure and believing that it’s only a matter of time before your
your creative well. Accumulating ongoing reference files for your
brain to work on through a passive, unconscious process.
creative season of content expression, or output, and shipping work out of the
Existential anchor. Portable,
purposeful and private sanctuary that brings you back to center to reconnect
with the self, the body, the spirit and the heart.
inspiration. Metacognitive, ritualistic or recreational tactics for finding
inspiration where no one else is looking.
creation. Tapping into your native endowments and limitations of
creativity, motivation, inspiration and intelligence and channeling them in the
service of making your ideas happen.
Incrementalism. Building a body of work based on a practice of patience, delayed gratification and continuity.
creative season of content inspiration, or input, and listening for what wants
to be written.
Integration. Employing the whole of your personality, talents, gifts and experiences
to contribute the highest amount of value and firepower those around you.
Updating the identity story you tell yourself after spontaneously doing
something you didn’t realize you could do.
Relieving your brain the necessity of remembering, freeing up your working
memory to opens your mind to receive new ideas.
Meaning context. Making motivation significantly easier by making an activity existentially painful not to do.
sabbatical. The opposite of ambition, the antitheses of labor, in which you leave the creative land alone for a given period of
device. An elegant excuse just to have ideas and
validate the process with a sophisticated piece of office technology, building
your confidence, commitment and competence.
creative season of content intermission, or throughput, and managing your ideas
as an inventory system.
Preliminary trigger.Asimple, easy and incremental ritual thatkeeps creative production going andgrows your executional victory
Principal creation.Theprimarywork unit of your creative process that requires focus and craft,
i.e., putting words on paper or clicking the shutter.
Peripheral creation. The
secondary activities of your creative process where it’s more about speed and
less about skill, i.e., editing, formatting, social media and billing.
Regeneration. The creative product is subordinate to the creative moment, which is subordinate to the creative process, which is subordinate to the holistic creative life.
Safety container. A space without circumference where judgment can’t enter, a free venue where ideas can run free without the scrutiny of readers, critics, editors and yourself.
Seasonality. The three stages of
the creative process as modeled after the respiratory functions, i.e., inhaling,
pausing and exhaling.
Self Organization. Some form of global order or coordination arises out of the local interactions between the components of an initially disordered system.
Triggers for joy. Something,
anything, gives you
sustenance from the act itself and puts you back together.
Unfinishing. Approaching the creative process as a fluid experience, viewing each piece of output as a constantly evolving organism, within the ecosystem of my larger body of work.
Why work. Identifying the running imperative that drives your creative behavior, the nobility behind your work and the posture with which you approach your art.