stuck

Austin Kleon recently posted a great interview with Paul Simon, where he tells Dick Cavett how he wrote “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

There are many things at play here (art as theft, input influencing output, accessing the unconscious), but the thing that speaks to me most is the idea of being “stuck.”

“Everywhere I went led me where I didn’t want to be,” Simon says. To my mind, this encapsulates what difficulty with creation more than anything else. It’s as though creation is walking a road and if you aren’t careful, you can wind up someplace you didn’t intend–and not necessarily in a good way.

And yet, Seth Godin still doesn’t let us off the hook.

Time and time again, Godin makes the claim, “plumbers don’t get plumbers block,” and he’s right. He advocates pushing through what Steven Pressfield calls “resistance,” the part of your consciousness notorious for making excuses.

It is only in allowing ourselves to have bad ideas that we ever arrive at the good ideas. We must cut the mental chatter and do the work without judging it. Of course it’ll be bad, but we can make it better. (The only kind of writing is rewriting,” as Hemingway says.)

The process is difficult, but it’s called creative work for a reason.