The Spark and The Grind

Happy Friday! I just finished reading The Spark and the Grind: Ignite the Power of Disciplined Creativity by Erik Wahl. Lisa Congdon recommend it during her CLS talk (along with a few other books I hope to read soon!) so I was especially excited to dive in. Erik recounts his own personal journey in moving on from the end of a corporate career into live performance painting. He believes that:

Ongoing, original creativity requires the spark and the grind: the initial flicker of hope and the work to stoke it into something that changes the game. Always both, never just one.
— Erik Wahl

Most people have one phase that they are more comfortable operating in. Either you find great joy from igniting ideas but have trouble taking the time and doing the work to bring them to life, or you work for the sake of working, and don't always see all the opportunities and possibilities. I took tons of notes while reading, and it would be difficult to share all the tidbits of wisdom I gained. Here are a few of my favorite quotes and notes, but I highly recommend reading the entire book yourself!

One of the concepts I was at first resistant to was the idea of attaching yourself to your work. I have sometimes thought it is necessary to have hobbies and interests outside of your actual job, but came understand that Wahl's perspective is that you should attach yourself to everything you do and allow that to inform you work. 

Each day is a day to create. Period. Constant creators see life as simply as that.
— Erik Wahl

After finishing this book I am inspired to seek creativity in all aspects of my daily life, to remain open to the possibilities (especially when I know that I am more typically a grinder), and to keep creating. This quote from the end of the book is really the best way to summarize it:

We can theorize all day long about theology, politics, creativity, and social change. But the rubber meets the road in practice, in actual encounter with real life. Too often our lives are small and circumscribed, structures to protect us from anything unfamiliar or unknown. We fight not to appear foolish. Stop fighting that fight. Let go of your self-consciousness and fear of humiliation. There are far greater things to lose than a little ego now and then.
— Erik Wahl