David Moldawer Encourages Us to Embrace Experimentation While Creating

David Moldawer’s The Maven Game is one of the best newsletters creative people can read.

Each Saturday, Moldawer sends one missive containing information, guidance, and inspiration about making art. Moldawer’s writing is superb, as you’d expect from someone who’s worked for years in book editing and publishing.

But what separates the best writers from good writers is the ability to see what the rest of us do not, to point out the truths we miss.

"Our job as creators is to spot patterns, and there are none to be found on the blank page. You need to go out in the wilderness. Clap your hands together, see what emerges from the underbrush." David Moldawer

Haley Joel Osment’s character in The Sixth Sense sees dead people that others can’t. David Moldawer sees paths to creativity and artfulness that we may not, and he puts that into his bare-bones newsletter that features no up-selling or social media support.

The Maven Game is simply one image-less email a week about how to be better artists. I highly recommend it.

Each week’s issue is worth reading, but I particularly enjoyed his March 11 edition, titled “Uncharted Territory.” Moldawer uses the piece to praise experimentation.

Another word for experimenting is to practice, to try, to play around, to draft. Moldawer urges us to enjoy doing so as part of creating.

It’s a tough lesson for me to remember because I’m focused on being efficient. I’m self-employed, earning a living from what I create, so it feels wasteful and costly to experiment.

But with David Moldawer’s encouragement, I’m making a point to experiment more throughout my creative process.

Who knows what we may find when we go into the wilderness and shake the underbrush?


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