By Nick Rossignol
Artistic. Creative. Right-brained. No matter how vague these labels are, there is a common desire in every creator: the need to take something within and put it out into the world. To most, this sounds borderline esoteric but in reality, this desire feeds us all in our daily professional lives. Who can deny the rush of deploying a new website or a new marketing campaign that so much work was put into?
This is why Jeff Goins’ blog resonated with me. His post “Why I Started Writing Fiction: The Power of Beginning Again” reminds us that our childhood dreams of writing stories or drawing a graphic novel are the beginnings of that self-expression – albeit through imitation of our favourite authors. He taps into that secret dream that many feel they have outgrown. Writing a novel, me? You must be kidding!
And yet it’s not that ridiculous. Jeff goes through multiple posts to help us “creative types” get organised, structured and motivated:
If that doesn’t give you the urge to write a novel, then just read up on why cats need to be better writers. Maybe your pet can benefit from this blog? SPOILER ALERT: It’s just a metaphor.
As much as I like the inspiration and the tips, I find some of the posts a bit too self-promotional. Many posts begin with the habitual clickbait headline relying heavily on overused tropes of “life-changing” or “crystal clear plan” when in fact these are just to get you to sign up to a writing workshop… And not the free kind. It does feel mildly predatory but maybe it’s just that we see too much of the business person peeking through the veil of this blog?
As an artist, this reminds me of the never-ending debate in the art community about purity of artistic intent. It is debated that if you create for money, it somehow makes your creation a product and so constrained by the limitations of what is “buyable”. There are many examples of artists who get paid and make very unique works, but I think Jeff Goins kind of stumbles in this balance between being truly inspiring and pushing a product.
What do you think? Are our childhood dreams being used for marketing and profit?