Issue Nº 16
Printed Newspaper Journal – August 2018
“A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance”
HUNTER S. THOMPSON
The act of ‘doing’ is a simple idea, but why is it so damn hard to just ‘do’ all the time? My mum actually always said I was a “gunna”, not a “do-er”. My late teens and early twenties were full of, “Yeah mum, I’m gunna do my washing, I’m gunna apply for that job, I’m gunna finish uni this year, I swear.” I struggled to finish things, but was really good at ideas, good at dreaming up plans and schemes—just not always great at making those ideas become a reality. As I now enter my mid-30’s, I am the first to say I have only slightly improved due to financial obligations making things a little bit more urgent. But, it still takes a lot for me to get the ball rolling.
This introduction has actually been written down and deleted at least three times. Just in the most recent attempt to write it, I’ve gotten up and made two cups of tea even though it’s 30 degrees and I don’t want a piping hot drink. I’ve gone for three swims in the ocean and I’ve vacuumed the rug in the lounge room because I saw a couple specks of sand deposited there from my most recent swim. It can be hard to create sometimes. From afar, I would often envy the successful types that were seemingly non-stop churning out work, but after four years of interviewing these types of productive and creative people, I’m beginning to notice one major common trait—they are ‘do-ers’ first and foremost. Creativity seems to come second.
A couple weeks back I was interviewing Stephen Dupont for this issue and when Dupont described his journey into photography, he talked of simply diving in head first from a young age. There was not much talk of creative ideas or concepts, it was more focused on the act of doing, the act of improving a skill. Dupont learned his craft through reading books, assisting, working multiple crappy jobs to fund his learning, and photographing everything from fashion to news editorial. When Dupont talks of those formative years, one thing stood out, and it was his clear drive to learn and improve, through perseverance and hard work.
It made me think back to others I had interviewed, who all told a similar story. They all dove in head first to learn a skill and obsess over it for years, making it their entire focus. I know for many it took years, even decades, before being recognised for their work, and it made me realise that you’ve really just got to keep doing, keep moving forward, and ideas will form along the way. As I’ve built steam through this introduction, and as I resisted making another cup of tea, I realise that just getting words on the page encourages the train of thought, encourages the mind to keep creating, and would you look at that, I’m almost done.
I’m lucky I surround myself with ‘do-ers’. I have almost cheated the system, as their ‘doing’ motivates/forces me to keep moving. But I think it’s important to remember that all of these successful and inspirational people you read about in this journal—they’re not creative all time, they are not always onto a groundbreaking idea, but they are, always, doing.