In this magic appetizer Jonah offers up three things that you may want to think about when you are creating magic, making routines, and putting stuff out in the world. 

#1: Clarity Comes from Action and Not Thought

When you are coming up with an idea or when you are working on something, it rarely feels like you’re gaining ground when you are just sitting there thinking about stuff.

You only gain ground when you do the thing, you have to actually put something down on the drawing board and do something and then you’ve got something to play with. When you actually do the thing, you grow a little bit more attached to it and you start to see the idea for what it really is. As soon as you can do the thing, do it for real people. Maybe do it for a friend, maybe record a video of yourself doing it or trying it, even if it feels too early, you don’t need to publish it and share it with a million people, you just have to find a place to do the thing. Whether it’s an open mic night, whether it’s doing it for a friend, or whether it’s just videoing it and doing it for yourself, clarity comes from action and not thought. You will not think your way out of a problem.

#2: Limitation Breeds Creativity

It can be impossible to create when you have nothing that you can draw on. In the past any growth that Jonah has ever had in his show has come from one of two things. They’ve ever come from a deadline or it comes from an obvious hole that is in his act.

You will be way more likely to actually pull something together when you have a box that you’re trying to work within. Aim to solve a problem and get it done by a deadline. The more limitations that you have, the more likely it is that you’re going to actually produce something. Do not give yourself endless time for endless options to come up with something or you will end up with nothing.

#3: The Best Ideas Come From Past Ideas

It is so much easier to reach back into something that you’ve already done in some way and modify it than it will be to come up with something brand new. It’s kind of like a paradox that you have to draw on stuff that you’ve already done to come up with something new because then how do you come up with something new if you’re already drawing on stuff that you’ve already done? To get past this, find a low stakes environment that you can play and you can try things at. Go get some first drafts there and out of the way so that when you actually have to create something you have examples to draw on that you’ve actually laid a little bit of the groundwork that you can pull from.

So whether you’re getting a chance to perform on open mic nights, or you are putting out a video, you want to get some of these first drafts under your belt so that when the time comes that you want to actually create something and fill those gaps you’ll be ready for it.

You’re not starting completely fresh, but you’re pulling from a short list of ideas that you have used before. Having a low stakes place to actually try stuff is great, not just so that you can try, but so that later you can draw on it. Find a place to come up with those first draft ideas so that later when the time comes, when it’s important, you have some first drafts that you can pull from and then start working on and tweaking and playing with.

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