Monday, July 05, 2021

The Relentless Focus of the Serious Creative

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relentless adjective

showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace


You might notice a difference about some creative people you meet. They have found a level of success you envy for your own creative thing, and you wonder how they did it. The answer is >>FOCUS<<.

The creatives that excel in their art, the ones that find success, the ones that always seem to be busy and showing new works or gigs or videos, these people did something you may not be doing. They focused on the work...relentlessly. To quote Bach, they were industrious.” It's one of my favorite quotes.

I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.” - Johann Sebastian Bach

The creatives that you see succeed overcome something that is very difficult for many to beat, and the war rages all the time for all creatives behind the scenes. It’s called Resistance. It’s focusing on our passion and art at the expense of all other passions and arts. And that’s a very hard thing and constant battle to fight.

“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.” - Steven Pressfield

Now this doesn’t mean ignoring your duties to family or your job, but instead carefully (and constantly) pruning away the distraction of other things you could do. You have to focus on sitting down and doing the work.

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” - Steven Pressfield

Just Do It

“Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action. Do it or don't do it.” - Steven Pressfield

I’ve had people tell me they see me as an uber-creative person that is always thinking of new businesses, yet I’ve been a focused full-time composer and producer for the last 21 years. And before that I did it on nights and weekends since I was 13. Even though I have written and arranged and produced literally thousands and thousands of songs, I have hundreds more to do right now and hope to DOUBLE my output over the rest of my life.

How will I do this? The answer simply is that I will just do it.

What Steven Pressfield talks about his book The War of Art, what he calls “Resistance”, I call distraction. We creatives like to create, and in fact right now I have two to ten other creative things and ideas I like to do and could focus on, from fiction writing to YouTube channel ideas to piano refinishing.

But to double my output as a composer and arranger, to make composing my main income source including ramping up my royalties and working full-time as a composer, I have to get laser-focused. Writing novels takes time and effort, and while I like it, it’s not what I was put on this earth to do. Creating a YouTube channel and monetizing it takes weekly effort and focus of its own, and probably two years of time to get there. I hope in two years that a significant part of my income is royalties, and that only happens if I put the time into composing and pitching. Piano refinishing might be a nice hobby, and a needed distraction. But any time I spend on these any of these other creative hobbies, I could be composing something new and/or pitching it to a library or publisher.

And composing is what I want to do more than anything else.

Focus and Show the World

This week, use this mantra of focusing on your creative craft at the expense of all the other hobbies or distractions you could waste time on. Then show the world what you can do!

“Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got.”  - Steven Pressfield

Have a great week!

Eric Copeland is a composer, producer...well I think that's pretty evident from above.

Find out more about his composing and works at

To get help with your creative thing, go to

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About the Author

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Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at