An Idea A Day
Bill Watterson is one of my creative inspirations. For ten years, he produced one of the most syndicated comics of all time: Calvin and Hobbes. How do you become a prolific contributor in any field? Focus.
"Ideas are a dime a dozen". A ton of people think that birthing the most brilliant idea will lead to success. Original, creative ideas are precious, yes--but even more important is what you do with them. Don't think you're creative? James Altucher, has some awesome advice about how to have great ideas. His first step is to write a list of ideas every day. Eventually, your idea muscle will grow.
As ideas begin to pummel your brain, the next step to becoming a prolific contributor is to actually do something. Gasp. Most people freak out at this part. They start judging themselves based on what everyone else is doing, then look back at their own piece of paper, uninspired, and discouraged. Don't get creative envy. Just start.
My freshman-year English professor had us read this. It's an excerpt from Anne Lamott's famous writing guide "Bird by Bird". Essentially, to overcome that creative hurdle, you have to feel comfortable working with unpolished products. Just get it out there. Once it's there, you can go back and work on it later. Over time, your first drafts will improve, and the amount of editing you'll have to do will decrease as your skills increase.
That's the only secret I know. Another one of my creative inspirations, Seth Godin has been blogging daily for almost 12 years. He writes every day. Some days he finishes multiple posts and cues them up. That way, if he's in a situation where he can't write, he has backup posts ready to publish. It sounds easy, but it's not. Publishing is hard. Throwing your ideas to the public, being willing to take criticism, putting your reputation on the line, is enough to scare anyone from writing anything. Yet, each day, you can go to his blog and read a new idea.
As Shakespeare once said, there's no fear, but thinking makes it so. Sharing is scary if YOU think it's scary.