Tag: creativity (page 1 of 7)

Nick Cave’s plans for 2023

The artist Nick Cave has a (newsletter? blog?) called The Red Hand Files in which he answers questions from his fans. Somebody pointed me towards a recent post where he talks about his aim to write and record a new album in 2023.

I love the way he talks about the creative process, and how mysterious it is.

My plan for this year is to make a new record with the Bad Seeds. This is both good news and bad news. Good news because who doesn’t want a new Bad Seeds record? Bad news because I’ve got to write the bloody thing.


Writing lyrics is the pits. It’s like jumping for frogs, Fred. It’s the shits. It’s the bogs. It actually hurts. It comes in spurts, but few and far between. There is something obscene about the whole affair. Like crimes that rhyme. I hope this doesn’t last long. I’m actually scared. But it always does. Last long. To write a song. You hope to God there is something left. You are bereft. I’m going to stop this letter. It isn’t making things better. It’s like flogging a dead horse. Worse. It’s a hearse. A hearse of dead verse. Dead, Fred. Dead.

Source: Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #217

Productivity is the enemy of creativity

I like the metaphor used in this post of being light a lightbulb: fully one, or off. In fact, not only have I organised my working life to be like this (I can’t work at half pace, and it’s burned me out when I’ve been employed), but this is the advice I give to my kids when they play sports.

Tweet with calendar showing no meetings and only a workout scheduled at 3pm. Text to go with tweet reads 'this is the one true flex'

“Most people in life are dim lights, they’re on but they are not bright. Because they are trying to conserve energy. You should make a choice, you are either on or off. There is either GO time or there is relaxing time. Try to be more binary. You have more energy when it’s Go time” – Andrew “Cobra” Tate.


Naval [Ravikant] famously said: “Productivity is the Enemy of Creativity”

Rest is absolutely critical for high performance. Without it, it’s like revving your engine until it breaks or blows up. We’re in a new world now where our brains power everything. As the Doomberg crew calls it: “The Gig Economy for Brains.”

Naval again says: “Some of the most creative and productive people I have ever met work in multi-week bursts and then have weeks where they just idle with little done. It’s the nature of the human animal.”

All-in and fully energized OR quiet and at rest. There is no in between. This is a key habit for effective work in the modern day. Don’t be a dim light.

Source: Be Like a Light Bulb: The Importance of Resting Ethic | The Hard Fork by Marvin Liao