The Missing Link

Behind every successful and happy artist stands something that audience is not acquainted with. No, not the inspiration, genius, talent… not even the years of hard work and practicing, though all of those certainly count. The missing link is something even more mundane. Tyler Weaver was kind to offer us this great guest post and reveal us an important secret. It's a part of his Great Blog Tour. Enjoy!

I wish I could say I’m unique. That I have an amazing method for getting the job done, or one that enables me to juggle multiple projects at once. I wish I could tell you something amazing and life-changing through fascinating pictures, charts, YouTube “vlogs,” how-to manuals, and pronouncements of “focus is everything!” but I can’t.

I can only use this generously opened space to profess the necessity of organization in my creative process. Without it, I’d be sunk.

It’s taken a long time to develop, but organization was the missing link that opened up my mind by giving me a place to store all the things my opened mind required. It gave me a place to return to them once they were out of the cranial space.

By the reactions of some when I profess to my organizational proclivities, this flies in the face of the stereotype of the creative. “Don’t you spend all your time worrying about files?” “Shouldn’t you just create?”

Well, yeah. That’s kind of the whole idea.

I don’t worry about files, because I trust the system I’ve devised. In fact, knowing that I have a second brain of file cabinets, computer files, and inboxes, frees up the creative side of my brain to do whatever the hell it needs to do.

Prior to this breakthrough, I loved the “creative process”, which meant, to my young mind, write down a bunch of stuff, pile it all together, hope it turns out alright. But, there was also a dark side to my creative process – the constant editor. Always going back. Always fixing. And it didn’t matter which side came out – Jedi or Dark Side – nothing was accomplished. Or if it was, by some minor miracle, it was pure crap that lost all of the vibrance of well-executed creativity.

creative disordercaptured by nylki

The often-overlooked key to all creativity is a strict self-examination of your own processes, and an honest look at yourself – what works for you (sometimes it changes on a project-by-project basis) and what doesn’t.  It’s not a hard-core adherence to “right brain” vs. “left brain” that enables creativity (and if you adhere to strictly to the right side, you’re just as bad as those over-reliant on now-outdated left-brain analytical answers to all of life’s problems), it’s a balance between the two. They work well together if you let them play together.  And I’ve found that an organized and disciplined creative process is the bridge I required to cross both halves of my head smoothly and get the job done.

It’s been said that all great art is created within chains, and that’s the truth. Sometimes the best chains we can add are chains on our processes, reigning them in, forming them into a well-oiled machine of organized creativity.  At the end of the creative day, all that matters is execution. Great ideas are a dime a dozen. Those that can see them through to reality? Now that’s something rare – unique even.

TYLER WEAVER is a storyteller whose chosen medium happens to be that expensive form called film. He’s made some stuff, like The Fourteen Minute GapIl Mio Canto Libero, and Gather 'Round The Mic. He lets the world knows what he thinks as the founder and EIC of Multi-Hyphenate and takes great joy in helping other people get their stories seen as a marketing strategist & consultant. He’s currently developing a project called WHIZ!BAM!POW! that pays tribute to his lifelong love of comic books. Because he’s slightly insane, he’s simultaneously developing a new documentary. He yaks about that and more on Twitter under the creative guise of @tylerweaver.

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  • dear tyler,
    another awesome article that is much appreciated.
    as you know I am very big on discipline. hence the consistent 4 months of writing that have nothing to do with the main manuscript. but, i must admit, organization, is an area i really need to work on. desperately. 
    and this really intrigues me actually because i am/was the most organized being when i taught or generally speaking as well, even so in law school.
    i guess i left life without a Plan B officially for only the past 6 months ( a year actually, but 6 months actively writing every day) and so i am still learning.
    moreover, the most important thing i have learned via twitter is that those who make it—however that "it" is defined for them and whatever "making" may mean—on twitter and life are reading and learning. and guess what? most on twitter and life aren't. people really think things happen magically and then boom: someone's a star.
    speaking of which, you are a star already, only a matter of time before your light reaches everywhere, my friend.

  • Thank you so much for the comment, Annie. The organizational aspect of my creativity was part of my experience running a non-profit that bled into my post-NPO life. I was juggling a lot of things, managing a team, and had to make sure everything went smoothly. I just applied it over to my creative work afterwards.
    And thank you for the star comment. That means a lot!

  • As someone who is talented to be disorganized I can witness the power of having a surrounding where things are in order. (Sure, things are not just physical things.) If you want to let your mind really go wild, then you have to have a nice, ordered environment to assure the freedom of the flight. 
    And while one might want to get a tutorial how to achieve that, I doubt there is one. It's a matter of will.

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