Lichtenbergianism: the Nine Precepts

Since I just realized that I have never actually blogged about the Nine Precepts of Lichtenbergianism, I shall do that now. (I have mentioned them once, but gave no explanation of them.)

As I explain in the upcoming Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy, these Precepts spring from a seminar some fellow Lichtenbergians and I gave at GHP in 2013.  In preparing to sit in what turned out to be a crowded room and to discuss how putting off doing any work had actually made us more successful creators, I boiled down our experience to nine keywords.  In the seminar, we simply threw each term up on the screen and then all shared how they affected us as artists/teachers/programmers/veterinarians.

Here are the Nine Precepts:

  1. Task Avoidance: Obviously. Cras melior est.
  2. Abortive Attempts: Give yourself permission to create crap.  Lots of crap.
  3. Successive Approximation: Give yourself permission to change what you’ve done.
  4. Waste Books: Create a system to record your ideas willy-nilly.  Sort them out later.
  5. Ritual: Find ways to make your work flow.
  6. Steal from the Best: Pay attention to the past, learn from it, then run with it.
  7. Gestalt: Look at your work and see what’s there and what’s not there, what needs to be there and what needs to be not there.
  8. Audience: Have someone in mind.
  9. Abandonment: Give up.

There’s a lot more complexity to these ideas, of course.  I discuss that in the book.  Reserve your copy today.  Or tomorrow.

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