Sovereignty Over Your Work

I started reading Hugh Mcleod’s excellent and freely downloadable ebook ‘How to be Creative’, and on page 5 there was a line which just about knocked me over with the realisation of what I had not been paying attention to.


“The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.”




But what exactly do we mean by sovereignty?


“Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory.”


The most obvious thing here is when you think of people who make whatever it is they are doing look very easy. Bruce Lee had that – which is why so many guys watch his films and then start copying his moves, or trying to, and looking very silly in the process.


One could say this is just a more specified version of ‘It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it’, but I don’t think that’s it.


When Johnny Cash sings a song, he OWNS it. You believe what he says and you never feel like he’s struggling to achieve something. You feel like the song is just something flowing through him directly to your ears.


Queen are another example. If you listen to bohemian rhapsody, they don’t sound like they’re finding it hard to play the song. It sounds like they’re swaggering grandly through it and THAT is an important part of what makes it work.


Recently whilst recording some of my songs I’ve played or sung takes where they were good enough, I hit all the notes, even had some character in it, but I just didn’t feel satisfied. I wanted takes that felt easy, felt visceral and had that swagger.


Plus I didn’t want to be haunted every time I heard one of my songs by hearing parts and feeling I could’ve done them better, or worse, that those parts had defeated me.


If you don’t conquer your work, it will conquer you.


2 Responses to “Sovereignty Over Your Work”

  1. Small video response 🙂

  2. Thanks for the response Andro.

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