028 - A Purposeful Accident

Is there a benefit in doing without planning and are we brave enough to adopt this way of life?

Image by Chris Thompson

Is there a benefit in doing without planning and are we brave enough to adopt this way of life?

Every week I publish Sunday Letters to my email subscribers. It consists of a new article on creativity, art, work and how it all goes together, plus a summary of the weeks articles both on Storymaker and Larry G. Maguire. Below is yesterday’s issue of Sunday Letters. If you’d like to get it to your inbox you can jump on board here.

This whole idea of purposeful accident has really got a hold of me.

I read about it recently in this article on The Creativity Post and the concept, although familiar to me, gave my already brewing ides a foundation.

Well, maybe not a foundation, but rather a hook.

The foundation for everything I’ve been writing recently, including The Artist’s Manifesto, has been creativity. Allowing ourselves the space to create without ulterior motive.

Suddenly when I read the article in The Creativity Post I thought, Yes! that’s it right there. This is a concept I can run with.

The whole idea behind purposeful accident is that we do the work, the art, whatever it is, on purpose, with intent and focus.

Collaborate, share ideas, make stuff purely for the fun of it, without an end or a target in sight. Then watch what arises.

As Larry Robertson says in his article;

Creativity isn’t the result of a formula. Without a doubt, there are patterns…but these patterns, while incredibly valuable to understand, still require you to engage with them, experiment, and make them your own.

Robertson refers to Picasso’s Cubism style of painting. As he rightly points out, and as I’ve written similarly before, this style of painting came about by Picasso’s purposeful play with ideas.

Picasso didn’t set out to create cubism, he set out to make something for the sake of it.

The Benefit Of Retrospection

It was only by critics and pundits analysing Picasso’s style of painting did they actually see patterns and characteristics common to the range of works produced and so gave it a name.

This is the same in music, architecture, poetry, fashion and so on. We can even find this in the analysis and categorisation of nature itself.

We can spend time looking at any series of creations in any field of endeavour and see patterns, group those patterns and give it a label. We are obsessed with categorisation.

It is important for creative people to stay grounded in the truth that creative endeavour does not have a purpose.

There is no reason for it, just like life has no reason.

Art, in all walks of life and in all its forms, is an expression of life and an expression of consciousness. Consciousness has no starting point and no end, it just is.

Looking at successful people and and analysing their path may have some benefit but we can be fooled to believe that this system they appear to have followed was the reason.

The truth is hidden when we do that. They might have followed what appears to be a process, but the process wasn’t why they succeeded. The reason they started in the first place was the reason.

Therefore to create anything worthwhile we’ve got to allow ourselves the space to inside, to allow something greater within ourselves to guide us. Only when we leave the rigidity of planning aside do we have a chance to experience this.

Is There A Destination?

As I’ve written before, some of the most wonderful things I’ve experienced in my life have home about without any planning.

Purposeful Accident comes about as the result of setting out on purpose and intent, but with no destination.

It is the result of following the creative intuition and urge to make stuff purely for the sake of it without ulterior motivation.

To me, there’s no greater freedom that this.

This is how we are meant to be, but we are not mature enough a species to let go and just do for the sake of it. Too many questions arise in us about how society would function.

It would simply be impossible.

There’s just no way this way of living we’ve built could adopt such a practice en masse. For now it’s left to the artist, the individual and small groups of creative people to explore this concept.

This Week’s Articles

Week 3rd July to 9th July

This week was a challenging week for me creatively.

I felt frustrated and stuck. Quite the opposite feeling to that which I’d expect from working with clear and focused creative intent.

However, there’s value in it. There’s value in everything. Because without the difficult times there’s no knowing the great times.

Therefore it’s all good.

Here’s what I was writing about this week;

MondayBeing Comfortable Outside The Machine

TuesdayWho’s In Charge Here?

WednesdayUnproductive Days Are Shit

ThursdaySetting Your Anchor

FridayTime To Hit The Reset Button

SaturdayThe Man Who Didn’t Come Home

Sunday — You’re reading it.

Until next week!


Originally published at larrygmaguire.com on July 9, 2017.

The Artist’s Manifesto is a short book about staying true to our art. It is a call to Artists and Creatives like you to create from the heart with passion and integrity, disregarding the need for applause and recognition. It’s available from 13th May 2017. Grab your FREE copy here.

Like Some More of This Kind of Thing?

Howdy, I’m Larry, Writer & Artist. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. I write about art, creativity, business & marketing. When I’m not doing that I write short stories about the ordinary lives of people and the challenges they face. My stuff can be edgy, hard hitting, and sometimes controversial, but never contrived. If that’s your bag you can Sign-up To Sunday Letters Here.