Don’t ever doubt where that last minute inspiration will hit you. It’s amazing where our creative recharge comes from. Yet again, Instagram came to my rescue as I sat at my table with my laptop, staring blankly at the empty electronic page.
I had no idea what to write about for today. This feeling has become way too familiar during the course of this blog’s creation. That sinking feeling akin to a dropped anchor weighing down heavy in my gut as it gets closer to midnight and I still have nothing to say. The even worse situation of simply going to bed out of frustration, hoping that something will come to you in the morning…and it still doesn’t.
We know that that’s no longer the case because you’re reading this. But it didn’t come easy. As I alluded to earlier, Instagram is the true MVP!
If I haven’t made it known on this blog yet, I’m a HUGE Hip Hop fan. The entirety of the culture has fascinated me since I was young. For those uninitiated to the distinction, Hip Hop and Rap are not interchangeable words, although people incorrectly use them as such. The genre of rap music falls underneath the umbrella that is the culture of Hip Hop. As well as DJing and production, graphiti writing (and other visually artistic expressions), and the art of ‘breaking’ (break dancing and other feats of choreography). These are the ‘pillars’ that you should be aware of.
Heavy digression but it needed to be said.
The point of all of this is that I follow Rapsody on Instagram. She is one of my favorite rap artists and I enjoy the content she provides and speaks on; and today was no different as I scrolled down my timeline to see the above picture that was taken from a book I now know to be called Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. While I’ve never heard of the book itself (already put it in my Amazon cart), the quote immediately hit me.
“The manifesto is this: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use–do the work you want to see done.”
How often have I scanned the aisles of Books-a-Million or Barnes & Nobles wondering why they didn’t have more science fiction or fantasy novels on the shelf with a diverse array of protagonists? I alluded to my interest in reading the stories of ALL groups of people in an early Word Vomit column because of how much more interesting the narrative can become when you see it from the viewpoints of people you may have never considered before. That is very much still a thing that I would love to see.
So what’s stopping me from doing my part?
In combination with my podcast motivation that I wrote about on Monday, the only person that I need to put pressure on right now to produce something is myself. With one written novel down, I need to go ahead and press forward with it and BE about the change I want to see. I think it’s criminally insane how easy it is to spend time complaining about the things that we don’t like. There are thought pieces written, comments posted, pictures uploaded, vlogs recorded, and books published on bashing things we don’t particularly enjoy for whatever reason it may be.
But how much of that energy goes back into showing off the people and things we love and enjoy? I can provide the answer. Not nearly as much as it should be. Quite a few people get off on the visceral reaction of negativity. It fuels them to go even harder. So with that in mind, I want to suggest the opposite.
Be as positive as you can. If you can’t provide a balanced critique on something or someone (something that’s insightful as well as injecting constructive feedback into the conversation) just step back from it and go about your way. If you have some measure of interest and ability, maybe you can contribute towards it in order to make it better in the long run. If you already love it, big it up some more. Let others know about it and more importantly, why you love it. There’s not enough advertisement of the things we like and want to see more of.
That’s the stance I’m taking. I want to be the change that I want to see.