“Committing to working at something every single day is the best and simplest way to get from idea to launch.” —Paul Jarvis

Back near the beginning of the Nerdist Podcast, they recorded episode 22 live at the Largo in LA. The headline guest was Craig Ferguson, host of the Late Late Show on CBS. If you haven’t heard it, you should go back and give it a listen. Great interview.

When explaining how he was able to bring his own creativity to a somewhat stale late night format, Ferguson recalled a party he attended shortly after it was announced he was going to take over the show. At this event, he was introduced to fellow comedian Chris Rock. They talked about his new gig and Rock asked him if he was up for the challenge: “You’re going to do that every fucking night? Every. Fucking. Night?”. Ferguson says this question haunted his dreams.

He decided that he’d only be able to do the work (Every. Fucking. Night.) if he did it on his own terms and bucked the trend of the publicist-mandated, scripted, vanilla interviews that were so pervasive in the late-night game. He wouldn’t last, otherwise.

Do the work, every day.

“The idea is repetition — developing a discipline of showing up, making this a priority, and working through The Resistance.” —Jeff Goins

Doing creative work, day in and day out, is a daunting proposition, no matter how accomplished you are as an artist. Rock and Ferguson are two very successful, creative individuals, but both are still concerned with their ability to sustain that pace.

Yet, this is the common refrain from prolific artists who write or speak on the topic of creativity. Write every day. Show up, do the Work. Creativity is a muscle, and needs to be exercised like any other. The only way to become a master of your craft is to put in the hours. It is a simple answer, but certainly not an easy one.

Even if you are able to defeat the Resistance every day, your best chance to maintain that pace long enough to achieve mastery is to do so on your own terms. If you’re doing work that you care about, you might stand a chance.

“Building a body of work (or a life) is all about the slow accumulation of a day’s worth of effort over time. Writing a page each day doesn’t seem like much, but do it for 365 days and you have enough to fill a novel.” –Austin Kleon

Last month, Ferguson announced he’s leaving the Late Late Show in December, ending his 10 year run as host. It makes me wonder if the the daily grind got the best of him? Is this pervasive mantra of “create every day” unsustainable? I don’t have the experience to say definitively one way or the other, but my guess is no.

My guess is he has another creative venture lined up as soon as this show is done. He hinted as much in his announcement.

My guess is whatever he does next, he’s going to approach with the same consistent work ethic. Whatever he does, my guess is he kills it.

Every. Fucking. Night.

Every fucking night | May 18, 2014 by James. Looking for more? Check the archive or follow the feed. Want to say hello? Send me an email. Or a beer.