Timelessness: Social Media, Pompeii, Creativity, and Romeo and Juliet

Facebook. Twitter. Linked In. Google+. Its a social media perfect storm out there isn’t it? Even outside the ever increasing social media realm, it seems there’s something new every day. The new technology. The new procedure. The new method. The new ideology. The new initiative. The new leader. The new diet. The new relationship.

The new                                                 .

I love ‘the new.’ I love discovering and exploring and asking ‘what if.’ Yet, in my line of work, I’m continually teaching and encouraging a ‘back-to-the-basics’ approach. As creatives, it’s easy for us to get gaught up ‘the new,’ sometimes to our detriment.

Enter Jon Steel via Ideasicle, one of my favorite think-tanks on creativity and the creative process. Steel is a British advertising giant and all-around creative thinker, creative doer type.

He’s one of my new creative heroes. Chew on this from Mr. Steel:

“It seems to me that we’re absolutely obsessed as an industry with the stuff that’s new and all the stuff we can do. . . I bet there were people shopping in Pompeii who shopped at the places they did to buy their bread or whatever they were buying because they were treated the way customers get treated in the Apple store today. We have got to remember that there are fundamental principles of human nature, of human instinct, the things that make us happy, the things that piss us off, the things that make us excited. Those are the same today as they’ve always been.”

And…

“The great communicators, the great books, the great movies, and the great advertising campaigns are all based on those human truths. It’s why you can take Romeo and Juliet and shoot it in the modern day with Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s why you can take classic Greek literature and make modern versions of it. Because the themes that they’re talking about are timeless. I just hope that people will remember with all this change [technology] going on there are still some fundamentals and things that remain the same.”

What do you think about Jon Steel’s approach to creativity? How do we blend the new with the old in our creative process?

Creativity Famine? Food for the Hungry

My wife saw this on her Facebook page:

I love the honest call of this post’s author, and I’m convinced he’s not alone. I believe this is one of the main reasons I must blog: to encourage that professional and spiritual awakening. To inspire. To challenge. To feed the ‘hunger.’

This is why we write. Why we sing. Why we present. Why we speak. Why we teach.

This is why I                                                    .

People need to participate in what we have to give. We must share it or it dies with us.

What are you filling in that blank?

Who are you doing it for?

This is why I                                                    .

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Writer Has Sore Throat, Loses Voice in Social Media Frenzy

I was performing at a theater. Acting. Costumes. Makeup. The whole nine yards. Livin’ the dream and getting paid to do it. Unfortunately, the toll of doing multiple shows a week did not agree with my vocal folds.They wanted a voice rest vacation.

The ear, nose, and throat doctor-guy informed my talking parts that they got to get the vacation they wanted: two weeks of no talking while they rested and I learned to communicate with no phonation. It was odd being at the checkout in Wal-Mart, trying to communicate with the cashier that (using gestures and read-my-lips word-mouthing) “I’m not talking.” Like an English-speaking American in a foreign land, I was treated like a non-native right there in my local Wal-Mart. She proceeded to talk louder and slower, assuming I was deaf or didn’t speak Wal-Mart-ese.

As creatives, haven’t we all been there?

We’re standing at the checkout line in life with insights and ideas we want to share, yet we can’t seem to find our voice. We stumble around, make a few mistakes, and start to feel emotionally flooded. We don’t often know how to get our creations into the world.

Do I blog? Should I tweet more? What about making a video? I gotta get an agent…

Welcome to the land of Overwhelmed. Overwhelmed-land takes us on a journey similar to a roller coaster ride: quick thrills, getting nowhere, back to where we began, no real progress.

Too many choices often leads to no choice at all. I think the glory of all this social media stuff is that we have multiple ways to express our ideas, rants, and opinions. At times, our intense desire to express them amounts to sitting in front of a television as one show bleeds into another; we watch other people’s handiwork rather than creating our own.

If you’re reading this, you are a creative. You have something to express. The only way to so it is to dive in. Right now.

Make all the mistakes you want. And keep making them. Maybe your blog posts will stink. Maybe your next ten auditions will get you nothing but rejection. Maybe your painting will never be in a gallery.

But what if your writing didn’t stink, you got the job, and your art changed how someone saw the world? What if you moved forward? What if you got off that roller coaster and took a step in a new direction? What if your movement created momentum?

“Half of the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.” Thank you Mr. Robert Frost.

You and I have a voice. Even if we don’t know how to fully use it… yet.
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What do you have to share with someone today? How are you going to express it?

The sky is not the limit.