music, soundboard, recording

Why you NEED to Follow Rick Rubin on Instagram

If you are doing any kind of creative work, you NEED to follow Rick Rubin on Instagram.

Rick Rubin is a record producer and the co-founder of the record label, Def Jam records.

He has produced albums for a very diverse list of artists: Ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Run-DMC, Tom Petty, Slayer, Johnny Cash, to Ed Sheeran among others.

Every day, Rick posts a piece of advice on his Instagram account, @rickrubin. And it’s always really good, actionable advice. But after 24 hours the post is gone and a new powerful piece of advice has taken its place.

So have to be quick if you want to catch all of his posts.

Luckily, there are Instagram accounts that repost Rubins gold nuggets of creative wisdom. Such as the account @rickrubin.wisdom.

Here are three pieces of creative advice from Rick Rubin:

1. “Think to yourself: I’m just here to create”


Vis dette opslag på Instagram


Et opslag delt af Rick Rubin (@rickrubin.wisdom)

Getting into a flow state requires a strong focus on what you are doing. If your mind is preoccupied with thoughts about laundry, politics, or something you saw on Facebook, getting your work done is harder.

Therefore, it is great advice to think to yourself: I’m just here to create. Here are a few tips to make this easier:

  • Space: Having a specific space to create can be a great idea. If you both work and eat at your kitchen table it can be harder to focus. If you have a place where you only create, it is easier to do so effectively.
  • Time: I use a technique called Pomodoro when I write: I block out 25 minutes where I focus on one task. Then I take a five-minute break. And repeat. This allows me to get a lot more done in a shorter amount of time. Multitasking and distractions will make you unfocused and ineffective.

Rubins advice also rings true when it comes to group creativity.

I have facilitated a lot of brainstorming sessions, and one of the most important things is that the participants focus only on coming up with ideas. Often people’s minds are too preoccupied with the fear of saying something weird, of appearing stupid, or having to appear smart and authoritative.

As a result people often share too little, because they are afraid of appearing stupid, or talk too much because they want to appear smart or powerful.

As a result, the brainstorming technique becomes less effective than it potentially could be.

Thinking to yourself: I’m just here to create will resolve these problems.

2. “Try every idea, every thought”


Vis dette opslag på Instagram


Et opslag delt af Rick Rubin (@rickrubin.wisdom)

Speaking of brainstorming, there is a reason behind the golden rules of brainstorming: Welcome unusual ideas and withhold criticism. If you don’t welcome new ideas, you are going to miss out on a potential breakthrough.

Google lets their employees spend 10 percent of their working hours on their own projects. As a result Google releases a lot of very different products and services. Google knows that you can’t predict the future. They don’t know what is going to become a success and what is going to fail. It’s better to give every idea a chance, so they can be tested in the real world.

A lot of songwriters carry notebooks everywhere and use a simple recording app all the time, so they always are ready to capture their ideas when inspiration strikes.

Save every idea you get: Write it down, record it, or make a crude sketch.

Capture the idea in its most rough form so it doesn’t disappear. Find a way to test it, and then you will know if the idea is good or not.

3. “So much of the creative act is critical judgment or editing”


Vis dette opslag på Instagram


Et opslag delt af Rick Rubin (@rickrubin.wisdom)

People often think of creativity as the ability to get ideas, but this is a very limiting view of what creativity actually is.

When we think of the qualities of a creative person, we often think of a person who is a good divergent thinker. This means a person who is good at generating creative ideas and explores many possible solutions.

But if that is the only thing you do, you will end up with a pile of ideas and possible solutions.

Being able to edit those ideas and to judge which ideas are good or bad, artistic or unoriginal, is a very important part of the creative process. This is called convergent thinking.

When you combine these two, you will see progress. The creative process can be seen as a continuous interchange of phases of divergence and convergence.

As I wrote above, it is essential to be open to new ideas, but when that part of the process is done, it is time for judging and editing. If you don’t, you will end up with a pile of bad, unrealistic, and unoriginal ideas. Viewing your work critically and being able to edit it is important.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *