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Putting In The Reps

A man exercises by lifting weights

Hey Artist,

Today I am focusing on putting in the reps.

What does that mean?

Well, a career in the arts is plagued by one unfortunate fact: In the short term, there seems to be no relationship between quality and success. Even for the same artist. Your favorite work might be neglected, while something you made quickly and without thought gets acclaimed.

This seeming randomness leads to feeling out of your control in your career and your life.

I believe, therefore; that it's best not to focus on "results". At least at an individual level.

Instead, I'm focusing on reps.

In workout parlance, you know you are making progress when you can lift a weight with good form more often or with a heavier load. If you are consistently able to do more, that is measurable progress. Additionally, putting in the work consistently is the only way to achieve these results.

As an artist, I believe in a similar approach.

Paint more, write more, act more.


Do it with good form. Do your best to make the art something you are proud of, or at least see as an improvement.

Write as many pages as you can, but then edit it to check for typos.

Does that make sense? I am not advocating quantity for quantity's sake alone. I am saying that the more completed pieces of art you make, the better an artist you will be.

Learn a new song. Paint a picture. Finish a short story.

This is how you grow as an artist, and this is how I define success.

Every artist has hundreds of pieces that are never released. This is fine. Great art is made from distilling the essence of cruder pieces. But the pieces have to be made in order for you to grow.

Thanks for reading,

And as always:

Thanks for making your art.


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