Comfort doesn’t create great art.


I don’t know what you are trying to create right now.

A business?

An album?

A book?

A brand?

There are a million possibilities, but I do know one thing about the creation process. I have never heard someone say, “My life finally got so comfortable and easy that I was able to create my greatest art.”

Does comfort and safety create some good things? Definitely. They both have value and importance, but every great artist I’ve known, every business owner who has changed the world and every dreamer who has climbed the peaks told me the same thing.

It was hard. It was not easy. It was up for grabs. It was terrifying at times. It was not comfortable.

I’m writing a new book right now. It is hard. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written but it difficult. I’m terrified of jumping back on that laptop every morning because what if I don’t have what it takes? What if I’m not really creative? What if the process is not easy?

It’s not. The process is challenging. That’s OK. The struggle is not failure, the struggle is art.

Today, instead of trying to make your life more comfortable, make your art more honest.

Write from the difficulty, dream from the challenge, hope from the wreckage.

Comfort doesn’t create great art.

  • Jason Vana
    Posted at 06:39h, 11 August Reply

    I would dare to say nothing worth doing is ever comfortable. When you’re trying to create something new, it’s going to be difficult, which isn’t always fun. But it’s almost always worth it.

  • Eric
    Posted at 06:50h, 11 August Reply

    A lot of “Christian” art and music has the “be home by 5pm” feel to it.

  • Kathie Gautille
    Posted at 07:02h, 11 August Reply

    Just when I add up the cost of starting a business, and continue to build my business plan I start to feel uncomfortable about spending our resources for this endeavor, doubt myself…that was me all weekend. But while having those conversations in my head—I receive positive affirmation about what a difference I have made.
    I get weighed down that this is also a great deal of work and realize…The planning will set me up for success.
    Your blog, tweets, instagram has been like the “cheerleader voice” I need to have when I turn the fog machine of excuses on.
    So thank you for this post! Thank you for being a great motivator!

  • David Mike
    Posted at 07:34h, 11 August Reply

    Thanks Jon, perfect timing. I have been telling my story on my blog for about a year now. This morning I was wondering if people were done listening to me talk about it or if they were going to keep following along. I’ve got quite a bit longer to go, the struggle is real.

    • Chandler
      Posted at 10:35h, 11 August Reply

      That’s what makes the journey the best part. Especially in telling your own story. Pushing through when you aren’t quite sure what you’re doing is right on point. It’s a great feeling and theraputic when you look back at it.

      • David Mike
        Posted at 23:10h, 12 August Reply

        Thanks Chandler, I appreciate your insight.

    • h
      Posted at 11:14h, 11 August Reply

      im waitin for that book!

  • Theresa @ AMomInTheMaking
    Posted at 08:40h, 11 August Reply

    This is great to hear as I peel my eyelids open for work… after staying up late into the night working on a post! You are such a voice of encouragement keep it up!

    ps did I miss Jenny’s book coming out? I’ve been dying to read it!

  • Steve Spring
    Posted at 08:46h, 11 August Reply

    Great post Jon. Instead of waiting until we are comfortable, we need to create the margin that we need to create our art today! Thanks for sharing.

  • Chandler
    Posted at 10:34h, 11 August Reply

    Couldn’t agree more, Jon. It’s a beautiful but vicious cycle. You get into something where you begin creating what you think is something great and then just as soon as you feel the momentum heading your way fear creeps in. You wonder if the next words or piece of the puzzle will be as good as the first few. But art always looks better from a distance. Sometimes to get the feel we need to step back and realize that in those moments of fear and discomfort we create the best product we can.

  • Ryan Hamilton
    Posted at 12:15h, 11 August Reply

    Thanks Jon. Facing my current (deeply uncomfortable) situation with both honesty and integrity is the best thing to do – and, of course, also the hardest. When I’m in a time like this, it reminds me that if I do feel comfortable and safe, I’m just not seeing things very clearly.

  • Liz H. Alexander
    Posted at 12:24h, 11 August Reply

    “Create or die.”

    I’m not aiming to change the world with my art as much as have a job and lifestyle I find satisfying. I think that, in the end, that’s all anyone wants.

    It’s great to WANT to change the world! It’s just not my cup of tea. (Mine’s Earl Grey, with non-dairy cream and sweetener.)

  • Kimanzi Constable
    Posted at 15:21h, 11 August Reply

    There’s so much to learn and explore when you step outside of your comfort zone! That’s how you can grow as an artist.

  • Rick Theule
    Posted at 16:30h, 11 August Reply

    Vacation is over for me (Staycation really), and now it is time for some discomfort! Thanks for showing us all the uncomfortable you go through too.

  • Shimeka Williams
    Posted at 18:28h, 24 August Reply

    WOW. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is where the magic really happens. It has not been easy, but I will not let that stop me.

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