Art, Creativity, Writing

On Creating a Masterpiece

Image from

In a painting class I once took, a fellow student asked the teacher if there was a way to make sure that their work would look the way they wanted.

The entire class stopped and looked to the front of the room for the answer, an all-encompassing secret that would ensure their creation went the way they wanted.

The teacher very casually announced, “You just have to work on it and see how it turns out.”

The entire class just cringed! Everyone wanted that secret bit of wisdom that would somehow, some way, turn everything they did into a masterpiece.

It’s not a shock that actually doesn’t exist–but for a split second, everyone was hopeful that it did.

One of my English teachers once said, along the same lines, “You can’t hit it with every one.” I had written an essay that turned out really well, and seeing how a new one turned out….Well, I didn’t feel it turned out at all.

You can’t hit it with every one: something I’ve always found to be true.

And so it goes with “You just have to work on nit and see how it turns out.”

That’s kind of the way life is, though, isn’t it?


When It’s Hard for Creatives to Stay in the Present

Image: Hilda Smith/

For creatives, it can sometimes be tough to stay in the present. Whether thinking about the past or the future—often in the form of upcoming projects or getting back to a “work in progress”—creative minds are often miles away from their physical brains.

There’s probably no way to always be in the present; meditating, for example, will just lead to again thinking about works in the progress.

Sometimes, though, it can help to do two simple things:

1) Ask yourself, “What am I doing right now?” That sounds extremely simplistic, but there can be beauty in simplicity. It brings up the discrepancy between what you’re actually doing and what you’re thinking. This simple act can make you more purposeful—and mindful—at the same time.

2) Make lists of what you have to do. Trying to keep a list of everything that needs to be done or everywhere you need to go in your brain leads to repeating this list over and over. Sure, that’s a way of trying to remember it—but it keeps your brain from being grounded in whatever you’re doing right now.

Then there are the creatives that write (or create art, etc.) focusing on the past and future.

That’s a whole different story…sometimes, literally. 🙂


Wisdom from a Seashell, a non-fiction quote/life hack book is now available for free on Booksie. It’s an ongoing book that will have a collection of standalone chapters added regularly. Check it out: Wisdom from a Seashell

Follow on Instagram