The Artist’s Way? No Way.

Perhaps you, like me, have once had someone–perhaps an overbearing aunt or a coworker who bikes to work–insist that you read The Artist’s Way.

Multiple people (including someone on Facebook recently, hence this post) have suggested that I read this book, saying things like “It’ll free your creativity” and “You’re creative–you’ll like this book.”

I haven’t read the book, and I don’t intend to. If you have read it, perhaps you can explain to me why the book comes so highly recommended.

Here’s why I have no interest in reading The Artist’s Way: I’d rather spend my time being creative than reading about how to be creative.

You see, it’s really not all that hard to be creative. All you have to do to be creative is create something. Turn off the TV, unplug the internet, put down the book, and make something.

I think the only difference between creative and non-creative people are that non-creative people don’t spend the time or energy to create anything. And that’s why reading a book about creativity seems so counterintuitive to me. If you’re really serious about being creative–serious enough to pay $26 for a book–why not just skip The Artist’s Way and start making something?

Every once in a while someone says to me that they “should really write a blog.” I’ve found that about 50% of those people never actually write a blog, and the other 50% write a blog for a few weeks and then never write again.

The people who are serious about writing a blog don’t talk about it–they just do it.

Overall, I think this is a good litmus test for people. If you find yourself talking or reading about creating something instead of actually creating, then there’s a very good chance that you’re never going to spend the time or energy creating that thing.

Honestly, most everything fits into that category. The category of talk instead of action. You’re never going to write that novel or record that album or act in a play. And that’s okay. Because I bet that there’s one thing–one thing–that you actually are serious about. Most likely you’re already doing it.

But if you’re not doing it yet (and if you haven’t been talking it up as something you “really should do”), why not spend one hour a night this week doing it? Stop consuming for one hour a night and create something.

That’s the effing artist’s way.