004 - Break The Rules

Boxes, labels, categories. There’s too many, and following them can stifle our creativity. Consider this instead…

Image by Veeterzy

Boxes, labels, categories. There’s too many, and following them can stifle our creativity. Consider this instead…

Welcome to the Editor’s Journal; A daily thought on writing, the creative process, art, work, the world and how it all goes together. Every morning I rise between 5 and 6 am, I sit here in the quiet of my kitchen and I write whatever’s prominent. I have a bunch of article ideas saved, so I’ll either pull from them or write something new. I also write at larrygmaguire.com. I hope you enjoy the read.

I have a history of loving my bed too much.

I love lying in it. I could spend the entire morning there to be honest. But at the same time, 5 or 6 in the morning before the rest of the house stirs is a wonderful time.

There’s something in the quiet of this time that I’m drawn to. It makes the task of writing much easier. I find there’s access to more, better things. There’s a peace in it.

Anyway…

I work in this job…

That sounds weird to me, because before this job I do, I did my own thing, for about 17 years. Now I hold this management position and I do this work for a boss, for bosses.

They have these rules and to me these rules are stifling and clumsy, slow and restrictive to my natural work process and ethic.

The rules are considered important to keep the machine running and to keep people organised and efficient.

They thing is they are anything but.

Now I know that rules and regulations can work in certain respects, but for the most part they work only where first; people are willing to be robots and follow them without much creative thinking, and two; that the people using them are adequately trained in their use.

There are other reasons why the rules don’t always work;

  1. They don’t serve everyone equally.

  2. They are designed to control rather than grow and organisation.

  3. They prevent people from thinking for themselves.

  4. They encourage siloed mindset of “I do my job and I’m ok”.

But this, unfortunately is the world of commerce and business that many of us find ourselves in.

It does not encourage the creative spirit.

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.

Image by Ludomil Sawicki

Other People’s Rules

I can’t stand other people’s rules. I’ll use them to my advantage if I can, but I can only follow them for so long before I get uneasy.

When I was a kid I wrote fuck the system on my canvas schoolbag. You know, the ones, you could buy them from the camping shop.

They came in yellow, black, grey and blue. Maybe other colours too.

All the cool kids had them.

All the spanners in my school had Man Utd. or Liverpool soccer bags.

Nah, not for me. I’ll have the canvas one and I’ll write the names of all the cool bands I love, CND symbols and other cool stuff all over it.

That was way cooler.

I’ll grow my hair long, and I won’t wear the school uniform the way it’s supposed to be worn.

But then something changed. I think for many of us who feel the urge to go our own road in our youth, something changes.

We become convinced that the way our parents did it, and they way school teaches us to do it, is the only way.

Not to achieve academically is a monumental failure.

There’s something wrong with that idea.

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.

The Commoditisation Of Creativity

These days at higher levels of business, commerce and education, the ones who make the rules have changed them somewhat.

Creativity is seen as vital to commerce and business success. Happy and motivated staff is the focus now. Innovation, design, entrepreneurship, creativity are all touted as the new road to profit.

To me it’s all a little bit cynical.

Here we have a scenario where the primary focus for business is actually happy shareholders not happy workers. They turn to the scientists. In this case the psychologists, who tell them freedom of expression and creativity in the workplace will grow their bottom line.

Colleges are now introducing courses on creativity and innovation, as if creativity can be taught.

Now, it might well be a good thing that kids are being encouraged to think creatively, and that a creative environment is being nurtured. But is this all being framed in the correct way?

Is the reason an honorable one?

Thinking creatively is an inherent human facet. Every human being is born with this. So then, we drill it out of kids from the time they enter the system, then we try to train it back into them in college.

Whaaaat?

So now we have a situation developing where young people are being programmed to be cogs in a new machine albeit in a more advanced way.

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.

To Be Truly Creative & Free

To be truly express our individuality and creativity we must do our own thing. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t collaborate with others though. On the contrary, collaboration is vital if we creatives are to grow.

Being part of the machine is fine for some, that’s their bag right now, for them. But for you, if you’ve made it this far into the article, something about how the rules of the system are built doesn’t sit easy with you.

The flaw I’ve highlighted resonates with you.

So what to do?

Here’s a few suggestions;

  1. Read this Manifesto

  2. Follow your heart

  3. Don’t listen to dissuaders

  4. Quit that shitty job

  5. Find your tribe

  6. Make stuff that matters

  7. Graciously present the middle finger

  8. Love don’t hate

  9. Get up early and work at what you love

  10. Meditate if you like

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. 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.