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Updated November 3, 2022

You’re reading an excerpt of Creative Doing, by Herbert Lui. 75 practical techniques to unlock creative potential in your work, hobby, or next career. Purchase now for instant, lifetime access to the book.

Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you.Steve Jobs*

Each opportunity to create provides us with a chance to become a part of something much larger than ourselves. Sometimes, creativity can even feel like a force channeling into us from the heavens, history, space, the infinite beyond. As recording artist Pharrell Williams said, “We don’t make much happen when it comes to creativity. We’re just antennas and transistors. We’re speakers. We’re just lucky to get the transmission.”

I wrote Creative Doing at home, mostly locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m still grateful that I had a chance to make it happen, and I couldn’t have done it alone. Writing this book indeed allowed me to become part of something larger than myself. There are a lot of people who contributed to my creative doing:

First and foremost thank you Bernice for your support, inspiration, and for being a great partner. Thank you also for creating a beautiful cover of this book, discovering the original concept, and other much appreciated and unattributed guidance.

I’m grateful to work with the Holloway team to bring out the best version of this book. Rachel, thank you for being a strong organizing force and advocate for the concepts in this book, and for believing in the ideas and making so many contributions to it. Josh, thank you for believing in this book, for providing the Holloway platform and experience to get it out to more readers. Ben, thank you for your guidance with marketing. To Hope, Nat, and the Holloway team, thanks for your great work with the product.

And of course, Creative Doing is the second edition of my first book, There Is No Right Way to Do This, which my friends helped me ship. Tommy, thank you for your comments on the early sections of this book, and for instilling the craft of writing into your work, and mine. Michael, thank you for your feedback, ideas, and support. Ellen, thank you for proofreading and catching the very big mistakes, as well as the details I would have missed. Faiz and Joey, thank you for your friendship and for reading early copies of this. Rob, Farhan, Vishaal, Moe, thank you for your feedback, friendship, and answers as I was first researching the idea of the book.

To the creative doers I interviewed—including Dacoury Natche, Michelle Kuo, Shantell Martin, Vin Verma, Lindsay Jean Thomson, Alex Kallaway, Vincent Pan, Chris Kim, Michael Saviello, Mason Currey, and Rob Wang—thank you for taking the time to speak with me and share your expertise for the book. It wouldn’t be the same without you. You are inspiring.

Ms Eckersley and Mr. Johnston, thank you both for being the life-changing teachers that you are. To my friends, thank you for supporting me from near and far.

Ray, thank you for your support, experience, and counsel.

Mom and dad, thank you for your love, support, and good habits. This book probably wouldn’t exist without the visits to bookstores, libraries, and book fairs.

More About the Artists3 links

Mason Currey is the author of the Daily Rituals books, featuring brief profiles of the day-to-day working lives of more than 300 great creative minds. If he didn’t start the genre, Mason definitely popularized public interest in routines, which I’ve found to really benefit my creative process.

Alex Kallaway is the lead developer at Jiffy. He started the #100DaysOfCode challenge, a must-try for anyone wanting to refine their programming skills.

Chris Kim (CVRE) is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter and sound designer whose work has been used in tracks by artists like Justin Bieber, A Boogie With Da Hoodie, Future, Juice WRLD, and Don Toliver. Rob, Vinny, and Chris started Good Karma.

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