Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"How To Be Creative" from gapingvoid.com


On the verge of turning 40, a series of blog postings I discovered on "gapingvoid.com" this week proved very helpful. While it did not answer these questions/concerns/worries outright, it certainly did provide a framework for self-evaluation, goal setting, and "keeping-it-in-perspective" strategies.

Lots of excellent material and commentary throughout this blog ranging from corporate/organization business models, impact of blogs, the notion of organizational/personal/financial success, and the process of creation. The philosophies, while they may be geared toward specific areas (business/advertizing), still apply freely to other areas.

One of my favorite quotes from the site in "#5. You are responsible for your own experience" reads:

"Nobody can tell you if what you're doing is good, meaningful or worthwhile. The more compelling the path, the more lonely it is."

12 Comments:

Blogger Major John said...

"Nobody can tell you if what you're doing is good, meaningful or worthwhile."

Isn't that the creed of the nihilist? Or the sociopath?

11:50 AM  
Blogger Amiga 3000 said...

Taken out of context (as presented), it might sound that way. After reading the "Creative" articles, what emerges for me is that mere approval from others cannot sustain you. Only the visable impact of your words/actions can...

It is not a "who-cares-what-people-think" attitude stemming from only caring about one's self. It is just the opposite. It is the attitude of "I will keep doing what I am doing or change what I am doing" only because I do care about the world, people, and myself (as a member of it).

Sure, people can "tell" you what you are doing is "good/worthwhile" with a word of thanks, a pint, a box of candy, a smile, a discrete nod, or comment on your blog. This can certainly fuel your passion, but it's different from mere approval.

The seeds of what-you-are-doing-and-why has to be in you initially. I think it's a statement of: I do not need the permission of others to still do "good/worthwhile" work. It's the acceptance that some will think I am an OK guy and others will think of me as the devil (or at least a lunatic).

12:52 PM  
Blogger Mighty Quinn said...

"Nobody can tell you if what you're doing is good, meaningful or worthwhile."

Hmmm...how do we know that an action is good or bad? Heavy questions - this looks like a job for an ethicist!

I agree with Amiga3000 that one cannot look exclusively to others for a definition of what is good. What if 'they'- the outside source of moral legitimacy - are themselve wrong (Nazis, terrorists, corporate motivational experts,etc.)? Conversely, if you base good entirely on your own judgment, you can get away with murder (ask Stalin who he answered to).

A lot of folks, Kant for example, thought that the rules for determining 'good' were independent of you as an individual and anyone else who says they know better. Doing good, to Kant, was a matter of rational inquiry. Lying, for example, is wrong because it deceives others. It's 'wrongness' has nothing to do with whether you feel it is good or another party feels it is bad. Conversely, any Ayn Rand fans out there might about the notion that some things are objectively good or bad.

Ohhhh, I wish I had more time to respond!

2:01 PM  
Blogger oldboy1 said...

I looked, but didn't see the most motivating phrase ever spoken by the illustrious Major John:

"High Work Rate, Hooker!"

er..um It's a rugby reference, not a swipe to MJ's character. Let's keep our mind out of the gutter, folks.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Major John said...

Amiga, OK - just so long as I don't see you waving a Molotov Cocktail and shouting "Anarchy Now!" Heh heh.
"High work rate!" indeed. I expect no less from anyone in the tight 5...

BTW - Kant is very interesting, but kinda weird sometimes (and this coming from someone who thinks he understands "Duty"). Mighty Q - this canonly be solved over an ale or two...

2:38 PM  
Blogger Amiga 3000 said...

For better or worse (and I am not sure which yet), I think that the Major's "nihilist/sociopath" comment got me on the track of social good... Given his creative actions in maintaining a blog, sharing his unique experiences, and opening discussion opportunities for others.

My initial focus was on creativity and the tendency to discard, stop, or not even try to initiate new ideas (or voice opinions*) because someone says: (1) it will never work, (2) you aren't following tradition/norms, or (3) you are an idiot.

So I think "creativity" and "social good**" go hand-in-hand in the case of Major John's blog. As with all blogs, it's a creative activity to (whether intentional or not) impact the world positively*** (at least in the mind**** of the author).

* Tough for me sometimes in life and greatly Internet/blogosphere

** Hmmm.... Mighty Quinn? Help!

** More discussion/debate needed here... :)

*** See above.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Major John said...

Uh, our blog, not my blog.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Simon Peter said...

I thought it was interesting. Thanks for the link Amiga3k.

4:44 PM  
Blogger tempus42 said...

Reminds me very much of "Do what thou willt shall be the whole of the law." (Aleister Crowley) Not that there's anything wrong with that....

10:58 PM  
Blogger Inner Prop said...

I thought I would add a comment only so that every donut had a comment on this topic.

The only thing I can think of adding (and this is tongue in cheek) is that the Catholic Church tells me what is good, meaningful and worthwhile. This is from both a creative and a moral/ethical standpoint.

MJ, you said "this CONONLY be settled over an ale..." [emphasis is mine, space omission is MJ's] Reading through that quickly I didn't realize that you had omitted a space and thought you wanted to discuss canon over an ale.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Major John said...

Isn't Canon law best discussed over ale anyway?

3:44 PM  
Blogger Inner Prop said...

Sherry I thought.

3:26 PM  

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