An archetype is a stable meme. Propagates across time. And there are some memes, some stories, that stabilize you as an individual; restrict your anxiety, provide you with hope, make you productive and generous, and when they're extended they produce a structure that unites people and produces peace.
You have to see the world story. You act out a story. A description of a pattern we're acting out, that's a story.
I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own tastes.
The recognition of abundance fills us with hope that our brightest ideas still await us and our greatest work is yet to come. We are able to live in an energized state of creative momentum, free to make things, let them go, make the next thing, and let it go. With each chapter we make, we gain experience, improve at our craft, and inch closer to who we are.
Your old work isn’t better than your new work. And your new work isn’t better than the old. There will be highs and lows throughout an artist’s life. To assume there was a golden period and you’re past it is only true if you accept that premise. Putting your best effort in at each moment, in each chapter, is all we can ever hope to accomplish. There is always more we can improve or another version to be made. We could work on something for another two years, and it will be different. But there’s no way to know if it will be better or worse—only different. Just as you will be. And you may have evolved past the work you spent years laboring on.
Each mindset evokes a universal rule: whatever we concentrate on, we get. If the mind creates a world that is limited, where we think we don’t have enough worthwhile ideas or material, we will not see the inspiration the universe is providing. And the river slows. In the abundant world, we have a greater capacity to complete and release our work. When there are so many ideas available and so much great art to make, we are compelled to engage, let go, and move forward.
When we hear something new, it provides insight into where we’ve been and where else we could go. We may have thought we could only move forward. But when someone turns left, it shows we can also go right. And then our right turn may perhaps inspire someone else to explore an entirely new direction. It’s a symbiotic loop. The culture informs who you are. And who you are informs your work. Your work then feeds back into the culture. This constant march into the unknown would not exist without the simultaneous sharing of millions of divergent points of view. Expressing oneself in the world and creativity are the same. It may not be possible to know who you are without somehow expressing it.
In the culture, there’s always a dialogue between the past, the present, and the future, even when it’s not clear what the influence is. As creators and enthusiasts, we share and receive points of view in order to participate in and further this exchange.
Set aside such concerns about whether your work will be comprehended. These thoughts can only cause interference, for both the art and audience. Most people aren’t interested in being told what to think or feel. Great art is created through freedom of self-expression and received with freedom of individual interpretation. Great art opens a conversation rather than closing it. And often this conversation is started by accident.