# Be willing to miss out
Creative people say no to things that will detract from their work.[^1] Saying no is its own art form, says Austin Kleon. Jasper Johns replied to invitations with a custom-made "Regrets" stamp. Alexandra Franzen, author of the piece "How To Graciously Say No to Anyone," says thank the sender for thinking of you, decline, and offer another form of support if you can.[^2]
![[I must decline, for secret reasons —E.B. White]]
Being alone is necessary for creative work. [[Find your voice in obscurity and solitude]].
When invited to something, you may like to frame it with Derek Sivers' "hell yeah or no" approach, or with David Plotz's question, "Would I do it tomorrow?"[^3]
![[Get the hell out of it]]
Austin Kleon warns against creative vampires. Pablo Picasso was a creative vampire. Sculptor Constantin Brancusi did not keep company with Picasso because of this.[^4] Julia Cameron has another term for people who detract from the work: wet blankets.
Make a list of what you won't do.[^5] Knowing what is a "no" opens up a world of possibilities, especially when it comes to collaboration. Punk band Wire did just this.[^5]
![[Whatever excites you, go do it]]
Austin Kleon says, "A little imprisonment—if it's of your own making—can set you free." Regarding going out and experiencing life, he goes on to say, "Playing hooky isn't as fun if you never go to school."[^6] [[Get into a creative routine]] to better help you say no to things. And sometimes you may even have to say no to your routine, play hooky. Remember [[Daily rituals are fluid]].
Don't be afraid of loneliness or missing out.
![[Loneliness, uncertainty, and boredom —Lynda Barry]]
Fear of missing out distracts us from our purpose, says Anne-Laure Le Cunff—it can help us be who we are, instead of being overly swayed from outside.[^7] Lean into the JOMO: the joy of missing out.[^8] Remember that everything is a trade-off in terms of energy or resources. The Stoic philosopher Epictetus says, "For how much is lettuce sold? Fifty cents, for instance. If another, then, paying fifty cents, takes the lettuce, and you, not paying it, go without them, don’t imagine that he has gained any advantage over you. For as he has the lettuce, so you have the fifty cents which you did not give."[^10]
![[Canceling plans is like heroin —John Mulaney]]
[^1]: [Creative People Say No | by Kevin Ashton | Medium](https://medium.com/thoughts-on-creativity/bad7c34842a2)
[^2]: [[Keep Going]] pg. 58
[^4]: [[Show Your Work]] pg. 134
[^5]: [[Keep Going]] pg. 25
[^6]: [[Keep Going]] pg. 20-21
[^7]: [From FOMO to JOMO: the joy of missing out - Ness Labs](https://nesslabs.com/jomo)
[^8]: [[Keep Going]] pg. 61
[^9]: [[Keep Going]] pg. 38