Pretty tired today! I am trying segmented sleep again, and am not quite used to it yet. But I have an old email here that I sent to my dear friend Jon Bell, and I think some more folks might be interested in it. So the main text today is a lightly edited version of that!
You know I like to make jokes about how I’ve found “the difference between you and me”. You’re a screen-toucher, and I’m not. You’re the one who gets people whiteboarding and drawing on stickies to figure out design directions, and I’m the one who sends them a followup email with lists of detailed suggestions.
So here’s another one: you’re the person who relies on productivity hacks, and I’m the one who relies on creativity hacks. You’re doing purely creative stuff all the time, but I haven’t been able to do that since high school. As much as I like to think of myself as a creative person, and to imagine the completely original art projects I’d love to do (on a platter with glitter and everyone’s clapping), I don’t ship. Sure, I can build websites in service of some purpose I’m interested in, or code useful tools for myself, or oh yeah, write a book about software. But for a really long time I couldn’t bring myself to make art.
Well, right now I have got one of the biggest creative projects of my life in an active and ongoing creation process. It’s a fiction project that can continue indefinitely, based on a premise that quite literally came to me in a dream at 5:37 AM on October 16th, 2012 — one of the first times I took melatonin. And I’m actually shipping it! That is something I haven’t done since… since my webcomic died out in 2003, I guess. The process is working!!
Here’s how I hacked my creativity.
Do I have to have a recommendation section in every letter? I am gonna say no. It will be better to send this out without one than to force a poor one or to wait until I have the energy to write one. Next time!!