Out of His Skull

It’s not so easy writing about nothing.

— Patti Smith

A few years ago I met Noah Scalin, who launched his career as a professional artist by creating a skull every day for a year.

“Creativity is a practice,” Scalin said.

His advice was simple:

Pick something—anything—and make one every day for a year.

Scanlin’s is the best advice on creativity—no matter one’s outlet—I’ve ever heard.

It lies, in fact, at the heart of the “daily painting” movement.

It applies equally to authors, be they bloggers, poets, novelists, memoirists, playwrights, screenwriters, nonfiction writers, or journalists.

Like painters in search of a “style,” authors fret endlessly over finding a “voice” and achieving “authority.”

Few recognize “author” and “authority” share the same Latin root, auctor.

In Ancient Rome, an auctor originated.

In contrast, an artifex (artisan) labored to realize the vision of an auctor; he had a lot less clout, as a consequence.

Want to be an authority?

Originate. Something. Every. Day.

PS: Have a safe and happy Halloween!