Burn, Shine, Fly

Friendly advice for your creative takeoff
Photo Credits: Ugo Rondinone “burn shine fly”
January 18, 2024

For anyone embarking on a new artistic or entrepreneurial project, I humbly propose these personal and hopefully useful pre-flight pointers and nudges before you soar into your creative journey:

-Vanquish them nerves. Throw yourself into the water and keep your judgements at bay. Your ruthless editor within will come useful later on, but not now. Swim in your intuition. Give yourself the liberty to be radically creative—even illogical—at first to test what genius may arise. Enjoy and glide through the childlike bliss of the process.

-Blaze away your pressures to impress others, and radiate a desire to impress yourself first. If it kindles your fancy most likely it’ll resonate with others.

-Shitty first versions are a given. So are shitty second, third, fourth, fifth, on to the tenth versions. To be a creator, you’ve got to kill a lot of “creative offspring.” So much of your artistic progeny will need discarding; those that survive will need lots of nurture and care, revision and re-editing. I can keep revising, ad infinitum. The key is to stay planted and stick with it. Until deadline of course.

-Be organized. (This was unrelentingly drilled into my head by the one and only El Magnifico, a.k.a. my dad). A real time- and patience-saver.

-When beginning, never think “I have to make something great. Instead think, “What can I create that inspires me and also attends to other’s needs; what will make me and hopefully others feel wonderful?”

-Cope with failure. It’s (painfully) part of being a creator. Like the immortal Phoenix constantly being reborn from its ashes, purify with fire, let go (of tradition, comfort zone, safety, and clear some room for the new.

-Consider pushing some buttons and making people think. As long as your intentions are good.

-Harness experiences that have made you suffer and use them as a door to that incredible human connector: empathy.

-Screw perfection. Strive for real. Shine imperfectly perfect and perfectly imperfect.

-Know that for everyone much of the process involves collecting ideas and blindly hoping the ideas converge into something valuable. Hope for crazy moments to occur. Throw around a hundred thoughts. Then throw ‘em out as you feel fit… until you’re left with the few that form and align with the crux of the whole mission.

-You would think that with each new project, it would eventually become easier every next time. Not so, dearies.

-Just when you feel things are good and easy, and that everything is in place, that may precisely be the moment to possibly pivot course. Burn again.

-Reveal some secrets. Unveil some mystery. Unfiltered authenticity is the new appeal, and what people relate to these days.

-You are two-in-one: creator and editor. And each functions separately at distinct times. Make your creator within way less constrained and your editor within way more severe when it’s time.

-Accept and embrace being painfully aware that you might not be capable of doing something on command. You may be insecure or even afraid of your own ideas. Or you may still be measuring yourself against a glorious creative moment of success from your past. You may be measuring your work against someone else’s glorious moment. That’s when you know to Burn. To then shine. And finally fly.

-All athletes, all musicians, all professionals, all practice every day, and the same goes for you.

-HAVE FAITH. Think, “I’m rising from my ashes, striving to fly and I am a human cloud. I’m reaching for the sublime, and the guiding spirits of the greats are rallying by my side so I can realize my full potential. Today, I shine.” And well, there’s always also tomorrow.

Safe travels

Photo Credits: Teens Unpublished by Joseph Szabo


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