The Idea Dude


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The folly of creativity and genius

It could be like any other day. But it is not, even though it feels like it. Without thinking, the words pour into your blog. Your fingers struggle to keep up. Before you know it, it is over. You preview your work. It is right the first time. Hitting submit, you get up for a cup of coffee.

Within hours, the comments pour in. You go back and reflect on what you did. It is amazing. You wonder why this post and not some other ones you laboured over. You grow afraid, wondering whether you can do it again. Hoping your next post will not disappoint. When the response to subsequent posts are less, you wonder if the blogging gods have left you. Perhaps you're past your best, what will your readers think?

This is the folly of creativity and genius. Elizabeth Gilbert describes this most eloquently at TED. Those infrequent bursts of creativity that people call genius kills us each time because they are singularities that resonate beyond our intent. They set unrealistic bars for us to maintain leaving us feeling decidedly mortal, impotent and unhappy when we fail to reach them every time.

Like Elizabeth, I believe that genius is in everyone of us. Latent not dormant. Waiting for serendipity. Genius are the highlights of what we do. It does not describe our state. Many who have been labeled as such inevitably die remorseful and depressed because they believe it did.

So we blog, because that is what we do. And every now and then when one entry resonates with the world, cherish it. You can't predict it, nor should you expect it. Inevitably it will come. Like the farmer whose grapes are sweeter that one season even though he has done nothing different from other years.

And when you feel the burden of genius. Remember they are singularities to be enjoyed for that moment and that moment only. It should serve as an inspiration not a millstone.

And when you feel ordinary. Keep blogging, because that is what you do.


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