Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 9, 201410:11 PM

The Internet Will Break Your Creative Block

Writer's block? Creative block? Can't come up with something to create?

Steven Pressfield hates the words "writer's block." He believes that we're all just fighting the "resistance" to create something (writing, that new startup, a project, whatever). His books, The War of Art, Do The Work and others are all about "putting you ass where your heart is," as he calls it. Seth Godin feels that there is no such thing as writer's block, because we don't have thinker's block or talker's block, so if you write the way that you talk, there is no way to ever be unable to create. I believe that some days the creativity simply flows better than it does on other days. I can't tell you how many times I have done a similar presentation, and on one day everything seems to be flowing wonderfully, then the next day it feels like I have to dig a ditch to string together the most simplest of sentences. I also believe that it's hard not to create so long as you are inspired. The more you see, feel and hear, the more things there are to be inspired be. Be the infovore.

Inspiration is now everywhere.

Of course, that's nothing new (thank you, Internet), but it is something that is often forgotten or dismissed. We used to have to go to the museum to be inspired. Some might go to a concert, a movie, the library, have a deep conversation with a friend at the coffee shop or even hit the local stand-up comedy club. At best, we might be inspired by something we read in a newspaper at home, saw on TV, read in a book, or heard on the radio. If you are tinkering in the right spaces online, it's impossible to not be inspired. Always. Constantly.

Pushing beyond memes, Buzzfeed and Upworthy.

It's easy to get lost in listicles and the bulk of snackable content that the Web provides. Look no further than your Twitter or Facebook feeds for hours and hours of animated GIFs, useless YouTube videos and Reddit randomness. There's nothing wrong with it, but to then turn around and say that you have writer's block or that you're struggling to come up with an original idea, would lead me to believe that you're simply skimming along the Internet instead of digging deep into the treasure trove of amazing, free and powerful content that is everywhere. There have been days that I have looked up at the clock - in the later part of the evening - only to realize that no topic, piece of news or anything has brimmed to the top and had me begging for a keyboard to blog. It's at that point that I turn back to the Internet and start digging in random corners looking for inspiration.

It has never failed to inspire me.

Criticize the amount of content on the Internet. Balk at the true value and merits of it. Do as you will. I can't imagine going back in time to a day and age when I found myself waiting at the local newsstand/magazine store for a new issue of Fast Company magazine to show up in the pre-Internet days. Plus, you would be surprised at just how much of the most juvenile or uninformed content that you come across online can be completely inspiring to get you creating. How often have you read something and wanted to immediately Javex your eyeballs, because you could not believe how stupid a perspective was? Well, guess what? That's inspiration knocking on your noggin and begging for you to set the record straight by creating something with your own twist and perspective on it.

The Internet is the great liberator of creativity. 

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Don't believe me? Go pull up any piece of content (or, feel free to use this one) and write your own little article, post or journal entry about it. If you choose this one, ask yourself what you think about creative blocks, finding new ideas or how to be inspired? Now, share it! If it's not this piece of content, but something, just start with this question: what do you agree/disagree with what you just consumed?

See, it works! Let the ideas flow!

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Jennifer Nash
    Mitch Joel

    I regularly turn to the Internet for writing ideas whether it's social media, news sources, blogs or whatever. I view and read loads of stuff every day. A favorite source is Twitter. With so much different types of content being tweeted, how could I not find something to write about?

  • Posted by William Xifaras
    Mitch Joel

    The Internet!! Truly a double-edged sword, no way about it. Endless info on any topic we could imagine. We can find creativity there, or we can be mesmerized by the endless discourses on social media... it's up to us.

    Yes I agree, wouldn't want to go back to those days waiting for the new issue at the news stand. Although I do take myself off the grid from time to time so as to appreciate other senses, etc that may dull from a constant barrage of "information".


  • Mitch Joel

    Joel

    Here's the deal. I gave up a 14 year career in law because of social media/the internet. For me it was about expressing my creative self, which I had hid away pursuing a professional career. I've never looked back. The problem for many people is that they have been distracted by all the noise around push marketing, and think that social media is a faux form of marketing. I have worked with a lot of people who say they are not creative and when I've shown them a few platforms where they can express more of their true selves, it's amazing to see their faces light up at the endless possibilities. I'm not sure if you heard the interview between Steve and Shawn about whether with the move in digital publishing, Steve would still have gone the traditional route. It's on Soundcloud/their website and well worth a listen. I have to say that Turning Pro is still one of those must read books, and nowadays there's not a day that goes by where I don't learn something about myself in battling that bloody Resistance.

    Best wishes for 2014.

    Julian.

  • Posted by Judy Gombita
    Mitch Joel

    I list my Passions (which could also serve as creative inspirations) in my Twitter Bio. I am also an avid CBC Radio listener, and have found many of the shows (and interviews) to be the source of my own original and creative writing.

    I'm also a fan of UpWorthy. And don't forget wonderful Medium--hurrah to people appreciating long-form thinking-and-writing content (again). https://medium.com/about/9e53ca408c48

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