Creating, performing, and putting yourself out there can be scary and lonely.
The experts assure us that when the robots, automation, and AIs inherit the earth, life will be better because it will give us all time to be creatives. We will all be promoting our personal brands and building an audience around the world. Good luck with that. At least it’ll give people something to strive for when millions have to look for a new way to pay the bills and occupy their time.
I can tell you from experience that being a creative is a lot of work and the returns are low. Not only financially but along many other measurements. Elsewhere, on social media, people scramble for attention and collect “Likes” that have no value beyond a tiny spritz of dopamine. Odds are, things will only get worse, especially if people don’t have worthwhile things to do.
I made this picture at a bar on 6th Street. It’s an all too common scene in Austin. Too many musicians chasing a limited and distracted audience. How hard is it to sing your heart out in front of a few people who probably aren’t even listening? It’s a proxy for creatives around the world. Not only musicians but writers, artists, photographers, podcasters, YouTubers, and yes, bloggers. The audience has too little time and too many choices.
Millions of new creatives are not going to improve the situation. Like most things in the world, in an increasing winner takes all world, a disproportionately small number of people will control the narrative.
So why do I blog? It’s complicated. I’ve been trying to figure that out for nine years. Of course, I get to interact with people around the world, mostly virtually but sometimes even in person. The daily blogging schedule challenges me to create new content, write stories, and craft narratives. That’s on top of making decent images on a continuous basis. Exercising the creative right side of my brain has ultimately changed the way I look at the world. Better balancing my analytical left side with the creative right. That’s the trick. You need to derive more benefits than the challenges you endure. That’s the only way you can continue.
Let’s hope the millions of would-be creatives find their own worthwhile benefits. Just don’t expect it to pay the bills.
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