Your Best Creative Tool (Is You) with Paul Jarvis

As you may know, I’ve been traveling quite a bit this year. It’s been fun to meet many of you at the various events I’ve spoken at or attended. One question I keep hearing is: “What’s your favorite writing tool?”

Your Best Creative Tool (Is You) with Paul Jarvis

It’s always good to ask what’s working for someone, but this question represents a popular misconception about creative work.

As I once heard Seth Godin say:

“We think that if we ate the same breakfast cereal that Stephen King ate, we’d be able to write like him.”

But it doesn’t work that way.

A wonderful trick of Resistance is deceiving you into thinking you have to wait for a better tool, a bigger opportunity, or some “break” before you can do your work.

So we tell ourselves we’ll start writing that novel when we get a new laptop. We’ll record the next album when we have more money to hire a better sound engineer. We’ll launch that startup when we have the right VCs onboard.

This is what my friend Anthony Ongaro calls the “false first step.” We think we need X before we can do Y, but that’s just another stall tactic.

Creation is always about making something from nothing, and at the beginning, the resources are always scarce. No implement is going to make you any more ready for the opportunity, because that’s not the point.

The tools don’t make the artist. The work does.

Stop searching for the right tool, piece of software, or for some magic moment that will give you permission to do your work. Start with what you have. That’s all we can do.

The tools don’t make the artist. The work does.

Jeff Goins