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Rick Rubin recently wrote a book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being. If you are a writer, artist, musician, builder, inventor, entrepreneur – anyone who “creates” you will enjoy the book.

Rick Rubin is one of the greatest music producers of all time. He has worked with some of the most well-known artists across genres including Beastie Boys, Eminem, Metallica, LL Cool J, Kanye West, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks, Aerosmith, Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jay-Z just to name a few.

Rick Rubin recently wrote a book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being. If you are a writer, artist, musician, builder, inventor, entrepreneur – anyone who “creates” you will enjoy the book. I read the book through the lens of a writer. I will likely read it again through the lens of an investor, and write a bit more about how creativity and investing intersect.

I’ve always enjoyed writing. Writing is a reflection of who you are in this moment. I’m sure many of you enjoy writing as well, but you sometimes find it hard to share it with the world. We often sit on our words waiting for the perfect time to share them. But there is no perfect time. We often sit on our words waiting for the words to be perfect. But we aren’t perfect. We often sit on our words thinking we aren’t qualified to share them. But we are fully qualified – the person you can impact most is the person you used to be. We often sit on our words, instead of letting them go.

I loved this excerpt from Pages 196-197 of The Creative Act: A Way of Being:

Hanging on to your work is like spending years writing the same entry in a diary. Moments and opportunities are lost. The next works are robbed of being brought to life. How many pages will be left empty because your process was dampened by doubt and deliberation? Keep this question in the front of your mind. It might allow you to move forward more freely.

In an environment where nothing is permanent, we produce static artifacts. Mementos of spirit. We hope they’ll live forever, holding resonance through each passing decade. Some might, many won’t. It’s impossible to know. We can only keep building.

When you and the work are in sync, there’s a time to put it out and move on.

Each new project is another opportunity to communicate what’s coming through you. It’s another chance at bat. Another opportunity to connect. Another page filled in the diary of your inner life.

Concerns about releasing a work into the world may be rooted in deeper anxieties. It could be fear of being judged, misunderstood, ignored, or disliked. Will more ideas come? Will they ever be this good again? Will anyone even care?

Part of the process of letting go is releasing any thoughts of how you and your piece will be received. When making art, the audience comes last. Let’s not consider how a piece will be received or our release strategy until the work is finished and we love it.

This is different from a work being perfect. We can engage with any of the works we’ve been a part of and recognize things wrong with them. Maybe we didn’t in the moment we finished them, but when looking back we often do. There are forever changes to be made. There is no right version. Every work of art is simply an iteration.

One of our greatest rewards of making art is our ability to share it. Even if there is no audience to receive it, we build the muscle of making something and putting it out into the world. Finishing our work is good habit to develop. It boosts confidence. Despite our insecurities, the more time we can bring ourselves to release our work, the less weight insecurity has.

Avoid overthinking. When you’re happy with the work and you’re moved to share it with a friend, it might be time to share it with the world as well.

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