How to be original – Be Prolific


How do you maximise your odds of creating a masterpiece – come up with a large number of ideas.


Dean Simonton, who studies creative productivity found that creative geniuses weren’t qualitatively better in their fields than their peers – they simply produce a greater volume of work.

Shakespeare in 2 decades produced 37 plays and 154 sonnets. In the same 5 year period that Shakespeare produced Macbeth, King Lear and Othello, he also produced Timon of Athens that rank among his worst work.

Mozart composed more than 600 pieces of classical music, Beethoven -650 pieces and Bach over 1000 pieces.

Picasso produced 1800 paintings, 1200 sculptures, 2800 ceramics and 12,000 drawings not to mention prints, rugs and tapestries.

Many of Einstein’s 248 publications had minimal impact.

Edison had 1,093 patents but famous for the light bulb, the phonograph and the carbon telephone.

From “Originals – how non conformists move the world” by Adam Grant.

Qi Baishi whose painting sold for a few millions, was living below poverty as a painter and became famous only in his 50s and had produced 30,000 paintings, more than 3,000 poems and about 3,000 carvings. 

Vincent van Gogh who only started painting in his twenties, produced more than 2,000 artworks, consisting of around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. (His work didn’t sell well in his lifetime.)

So what are you doing tomorrow? Time to close the smartphone and do some real work?

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