According to Adam M. Grant’s Originals, many creative geniuses came up with a large number of ideas throughout the years. For example,
- Shakespeare produced 37 plays and 154 sonnets in the span of 2 decades.
- Mozart composed more than 600 pieces before his death at 35.
- Beethoven produced 650 pieces in his lifetime.
- Bach wrote over a thousand.
- Picasso had more than 1800 paintings, 1200 sculptures, 2800 ceramics, 1200 drawings, not to mention prints, rugs.
- Maya Angelou wrote more than 165 poems, 6 autobiographies.
- Albert Einstein published more than 300 scientific works.
- Thomas Edison filed 2332 patents.
These works were not necessarily better than their peers’. However, by producing a greater volume of work, they increased the odds of having influential and successful ones. At the same time, not only were their works outstanding, they also had the highest originality during the period where they produced the largest volume.
That said, to do better work, you want to do more of it. Instead of obsessing about quality, you want to focus on quantity. Putting more works out there also means that you gather feedback faster, have more time to reflect and improve your pieces.
Now, the thing is, doing work itself is hard, doing more of it is harder, doing it consistently is incredibly hard. That’s why having a good system to keep you in check frequently as well as keeping track of your work is crucial to your success. I’ve written about system planning and goal setting here if you’re interested in checking it out →