So can we all agree that creating-on-demand is challenging? And rewarding? And nearly impossible? And sometimes incredibly easy?

That’s the thing about the creative process…sometimes ideas come easily, and sometimes they elude us. But the difference between creative pros who thrive over the long-term and those that will eventually burn out on the altar of short-term productivity is mindset.

We’ve distilled some of these mindsets and practices into something of a “manifesto” for the AC community. They are:

1. We create. Everyday. Not because we have to, but because we can’t help it. We empty ourselves because that’s what artists do.

2. We are brilliant at what we do, but what we do does not define us.

3. We understand that our vocation is bigger than our occupation. We’re on this earth to do more than earn a paycheck.

4. We are committed to growth. We do not tolerate stagnancy, because it’s the first sign of death.

5. We are committed to healthy creating. We recognize that to be prolific for a long time involves intentionality, choice and discipline.

6. We know the value of what we make, and we refuse to prostitute ourselves to organizations. We make career decisions based upon who we are not what everyone else would do in our situation.

7. We are always looking for ideas. We are focused, curious and passionate about life, because life is art.

8. We refuse to play the victim. We are proactive and responsible for our own creative health.

9. We are generous because we are free. We know that the goal is to act on the best idea, whether or not it’s our own. We build other people up, even when they don’t reciprocate.

10. We are committed to relationships. We recognize that healthy creating will come out of vibrant relationships.

Sound too dramatic, overblown or irrelevant to you? Cool. Feel free to do whatever seems easiest. But for those of us who want to thrive, we must realize that it will take intentionality and effort. There is more to life than being hip. There is more to our creating than chasing after the latest and greatest on the cover of the trade mags. There is more to art than being a “cover band.”

We are committed to bringing ourselves fully to our life and art. And as we do this, the world will change around us.