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One of my favorite things in the world is chatting with creatives who are “in the trenches” every day to talk about how they approach their craft. I recently had the chance to connect with Justine Musk to talk about her process, art, fear, and the pursuit of brilliant work. Justine is a novelist, and she blogs regularly at JustineMusk.com.

Here are a few key takeaways from the conversation:

Fear can either be a motivator or an inhibitor of the creative process. If we learn to recognize fear and use it to our advantage, it can become a powerful ally. (Julien Smith also discussed this in our recent interview.)

The imperative is on each individual to find their voice. As Justine says in the interview, we need to focus on “finding our inner freak.” (Love that phrase.)

Dedication to craft is supreme. We must be willing to devote ourselves to doing the work each day regardless of how we feel about it. Persistent progress makes for long-arc results. What are you doing today that you’ll be glad about tomorrow?

Self-esteem is a fruitless pursuit. If we want to be artists – to make something truly great – we are signing up for a life of frustration and disappointment punctuated by moments of thrill and satisfaction. Feeling good about yourself is secondary to doing the work. You may not recognize what’s truly great until much later. Do the work, and worry about it later.

I really enjoyed my conversation with Justine! You can listen to the full (14 minute) conversation below.

[audio:Justine-Musk.mp3]

 

 

READ THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS OF HERDING TIGERS

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