Thursday, June 2, 2016

Wanna bet?

In his book Steal Like an Artist (read it, and its companion piece Show Your Work, as fast as you can), Austin Kleon writes about what he calls the creativity in subtraction:
"Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat with only 236 different words, so his editor bet him he couldn't write a book with only 50 different words. Dr. Seuss came back and won the bet with Green Eggs and Ham, one of the bestselling children's books of all time."
One of my favorite lyricists, the great Lorenz Hart, wrote his song "I Could Write a Book" on a dare, too. Some fool at a dinner party bet him that he couldn't rhyme "bookends." Check out the link to see how he did it.

A bet can be a great motivator. Set a goal—whether it's to use a certain structure in your next creative endeavor or to stretch your comfort zone in a specific way—and make a bet with yourself, or a friend. You never know what brilliance you'll unleash.

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