Thoughts and habits not conducive to the work — from “The Creative Act” by Rick Rubin

Thoughts and habits not conducive to the work

Believing you’re not good enough.

Feeling you don’t have the energy it takes.

Mistaking adopted rules for absolute truths.

Not wanting to do the work (laziness).

Not taking the work to its highest expression (settling).

Having goals so ambitious that you can’t begin.

Thinking you can only do your best work in certain conditions.

Requiring specific tools or equipment to do the work.

Abandoning a project as soon as it gets difficult.

Feeling like you need permission to start or move forward.

Letting a perceived need for funding, equipment, or support get in the way.

Having too many ideas and not knowing where to start.

Never finishing projects.

Blaming circumstances or other people for interfering with your process.

Romanticizing negative behaviors or addictions.

Believing a certain mood or state is necessary to do your best work.

Prioritizing other activities and responsibilities over your commitment to making art.

Distractibility and procrastination.


Thinking anything that’s out of your control is in your way


Rick Rubin, 1963–

© 2023 Rick Rubin
Excerpt from A The Creative Act: A Way of Being

Photo courtesy of Showtime

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