Today I want to talk about three elements of success with creative work:
- Producing work of incredibly high quality.
- The importance of publishing/communicating frequently.
- How relationships — mixed with high quality work — are essential for success.
Last week I asked my newsletter subscribers what their biggest fears and biggest goals were, and I receive nearly 7,000 words in response. I keep reading through them again and again, immersing myself in that place between one’s vision and one’s reality.
If you are a writer or creative professional of any sort — someone pursuing a creative vision around their craft — please keep reading. I want to show you the practical realities of what it takes to frequently craft work of high quality, and the value of connecting with colleagues/audience in that process.
Okay, let’s dig in…
Let’s Frame This Conversation in Reality
I don’t want to just focus on theory of success here, I want to ground it in a real-life example. And I want to give that example a name: Casey Neistat.
The truth is, I have been obsessed with Casey for the past two weeks, watching more than 90 videos of his. I would estimate it to be more than 10 hours of viewing time.
Casey is a filmmaker, perhaps best known for YouTube videos typically 5-10 minutes long. Some of them are for big brands such as Nike, some are “viral videos,” and some are daily vlogs – video diaries of his day.
When I think of the three ingredients of creative success listed above, this is how Casey illustrates each:
- Quality: Casey stands out in a sea of mediocre. Bottom line: Casey works harder than others in order to take his craft to a level that few others will even attempt. That said: many will try to copy his success after they see it working for him.
- Frequency: Casey is prolific, currently publishing one new video a day, 7 days per week. But when you dig back into his biography, you find that he has worked on a wide range of projects over his 15+ year career. Somehow, it seems like he’s been pushing the envelope the entire time.
- Relationships: Casey’s videos often have the camera pointed at his face, but when it’s not, it is filled with other successful creative professionals, as well has his audience. Yes, his actual audience, who camp out in front of his office hoping to meet him, and who he randomly passes on the streets on New York (and in the oddest little corners of the world that he travels to.)