Five lessons in creative courage you can learn from Amelia Earhart.
To start this article I starred at a blank screen while 30 slow minutes slid by. For the next 30, I typed two words and deleted one.
90 minutes and 80 characters later I realised the irony of the situation, reviewed my notes and took the first bit of advice, inspired by Amelia Earhart, that I wanted to give and got stuck in.
Sometimes we’re just too conscious of our creative output, self-doubt kicks in and suddenly we’re stranded on cowardice island, destined never to have another original thought again.
But forward-thinking Amelia Earhart never let fear halt the path of progress, so we think we can learn a thing or two from our high-flying hero on creative courage.
Amelia Earhart was an aviation pioneer and an author, born in 1897. Not only was she the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, but she wrote best-selling books about her experiences in the air and set a series of world records too before famously disappearing during an attempt to fly around world 86 years ago, in 1932! She was never found.
Over the years Earhart has come to symbolise courage and creative living, and is remembered as someone that never let adversity or lack of imagination ground here dreams.
Here are our favourite lessons on creative courage from our sister of the skies.
Get stuck in
‘The most effective way to do it, is to do it.’
Forget perfection. Making things is more fun when it’s messy. So let go of needing to have all the facts or a fully formed idea, just begin! Procrastination will kill your creativity, so even if what you make is really, really bad, there will be value in it. It is always better to start something and learn from it, than stay blocked.
‘There’s more to life than being a passenger.’
Creativity responds better to bravery, so throw your whole self in – participate! Keep showing up by giving to everything your’ve got, without worrying about the outcome.
Hold your nerve
‘The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.’
Creativity is often defined as having the ability to come up with new ideas and the courage to try them out. But, not all of them will work! So get comfortable knowing when to quit and when to commit.
Enjoy the ride
‘Adventure is worthwhile in itself.’
The pursuit of any new idea is an adventure that will lead you into the unknown. Your job is to enjoy the ride.
Sometimes you will fail. Sometimes you will fuck up. Often what you make will just suck. But, being a terrible creative is better than not being creative at all 😉
‘A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.’
Compassion is the new currency and although it doesn’t cost anything, it doesn’t always come easy. But, take care of yourself and your creative community and you’ll find you have a source of infinite support and inspiration.
You can find Amelia in The Cool Club Classics.
Finally we think ‘Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done’ is pretty sound advice!