Have you ever stumbled upon a really awesome creation or feat online? I did the other day on Twitter and suddenly something disappointing struck me:
How many people come across this, glance at it for a few seconds, then scroll on?
And that’s it.
Not a single like, comment, or anything — just a “hm, that’s cool” and fast forward. I don’t think this is out of disrespect; I think it’s a testament to Internet culture, though.
As a byproduct, we’ve become desensitized.
What Creatives Really Want
Okay, I’m not a “legit” artist. I’m not a professional writer — Hey, I’m not a professional anything. But, I still like to make stuff.
- I arrange ideas into stories.
- I assemble sounds into music.
- I gather colors into artwork.
I put time into these things because they give me an intrinsic value when I finally finish them; it’s not necessarily about external approval. However, when I make something, I feel an innate urge to share it.
It’s a privilege to share and have massive reach.
But you know what’s 10X better than just landing on a bunch of screens? Actually creating something people appreciate! I wish more people would vocalize their appreciation — that’s what gives off the energy that runs through your body and excites you to do more.
With that said, do I expect everyone to pat me on the back and say “good job little buddy” every time I post something I made?
I don’t want to be patronized.
But I do want respect — especially if you make your own thing.
“Show me the goods, now!”
It’s a challenge to create something with a “wow” factor these days. Almost everything imaginable can be quickly found online. Standing out is harder than ever.
Personally, I know how difficult it is to make something people really feel strongly about (this happens all the time in my writing). People just have so much at their fingertips.
I remember this recently happened when I released a project of music.
- It was something I invested my time into.
- It was something I put heart into.
- It was something I hoped other people would appreciate.
The reality? People don’t care. I mean, like they really are not impressed whatsoever. 😅 And how could I blame them? Thousands of artists put out music every single day. I’m not special or even pursuing music all that seriously.
It goes back to that desensitized thing I talked about.
When you expect the whole damn world to open up right before your eyes, you seldom give thought to the effort behind the content.
It’s like when you see a photo of a mountain top view. You see just that , a photo — you don’t feel the long, treacherous journey it took to get there and capture it. This doesn’t only apply to music and photography, it happens in every other craft, as well.
When You Make Stuff, You Know What Goes Into It
As the old saying goes:
It takes one to know one.
Usually this mantra applies to jerks and assholes, but I believe it makes a smooth transition into the world of digital content and creation.
Once you do something yourself, that’s when you truly start to appreciate it.
Most people have no idea what goes into the process.
For instance, I have no clue what all goes into the directing and filming of a major motion picture. While I imagine it’s a lot of work, I honestly don’t know what goes into it, so I don’t have a true appreciation for it.
Most people don’t.
That’s why movies cost about the same as a meal at Chick-fil-A.
On the other hand, I do know what it takes to publish a substantial piece of writing. I do know what it takes to produce a song. I do know how much work goes into the process of a finished product.
And because I’ve been down those roads, I’m far more likely to express my admiration for them as they appear.
You Need To Flex Your Appreciation
Whatever it is you do, you know what it takes to get the job done. I’m sure you appreciate what you do, but you must be keen to the behind-the-scenes of others, too.
All this really trickles down to one thing: encourage the behavior you believe in.
Personally, I place high value on producing things organically. I like seeing what humans can make. I hope everybody has some sort of creative itch one day.
Show some love for it.