Inspiration is for Amateurs

“Inspiration and work ethic ride right next to each other. Not every day of your life you’re going to wake up and the clouds are going to part and the rays from heaven are going to come down and you’re going to write a song about it. Sometimes you just get in there and force yourself to work and maybe something good will come out of it.” -Jack White

“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lighting to strike you in the brain, you’re not going to make an awful lot of work” -Chuck Close


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I first came across this idea in the Andrew Zuckerman book Wisdom. Zuckerman is a photographer doing some amazing studio work that integrates motion and still portrait photography with story telling by putting interesting subjects in the absolutely neutral environment of a white seamless backdrop. Obviously if you watched the Wisdom video the book and video are beautifully done and are chalked full of solid ideas and philosophies.

Chuck Close is an artist who became famous through his incredible photorealist paintings and pencil works. Jack White of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather needs no introduction.

That quote, “inspiration is for amateurs”, always stuck in my head and when I came across the Jack White video on Chase Jarvis’ blog I was struck by the identical sentiment repeated almost verbatim. Two artists in completely different fields independently coming up with the same exact piece of wisdom is worth sharing.

What does that mean for The Business of Fun? If you’re a creative trying to make it in your field or get to the next level it’s pretty simple… get to work. If you don’t know what The Business of Fun is for you then get to work figuring it out. Set up informational interviews with people doing things you think maybe you might like to do. Volunteer in a field you’re interested in. Get an internship. The clouds aren’t going to part…