Persist – Creativity Inc Letter

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creativity-inc

In Creativity Inc, Ed Catmull describes a letter he received from Pixar animator Austin Madison, which he found particularly uplifting when it came to protecting and promoting Pixar’s culture.

To whom it may inspire,

I, like many of you artists out there constantly shift between two states. The first, and far more preferable of the two is white hot, in the zone, seat of the pants, firing on all cylinders creative mode.

This is when you lay your pen down and the ideas pour out like wine from a royal chalice. This happens about 3% of the time.

The other 97% of the time I am in the frustrated, struggling, office corner full of crumpled up paper mode.

The important thing is to slog diligently through this quagmire of discouragement and despair. Put on some audio commentary and listen to the stories of professionals who have been making films for decades going through the same slings and arrows of outrageous production problems.

In a word – persist.

Persist on telling your story. Persist on reaching your audience. Persist on staying true to your vision.

I think this is a great letter. The audio commentary Austin refers to is what you find in your blu ray DVD. Turn it on sometime. Listen to the struggles the artists and directors when through making that movie.

You’ll see it’s not magic. It’s a lot of hard work. But through the hard work, and persistence, magic can happen. And that is what we all love.

I will persist until I succeed

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I got this quote from Ryan Waggoner’s blog and thought it bears repeating.

I will persist until I succeed.

Henceforth, I will consider each day’s effort as but one blow of my blade against a mighty oak.

The first blow may cause not a tremor in the wood, nor the second, nor the third.

Each blow, of itself, may be trifling, and seem of no consequence. Yet from childish swipes the oak will eventually tumble.

So it will be with my efforts of today.

I will be liken to the rain drop which washes away the mountain;
the ant who devours a tiger;
the star which brightens the earth;
the slave who builds a pyramid.
I will build my castle one brick at a time for I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.

I will persist until I succeed.

~Scroll III, The Greatest Secret in the World

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