Creativity, Resistance, and Results

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As I have written about regularly, creativity is necessary to get a better world. It is a power that dissolves the grip of tyrants, a kind of Alkahest that dissolves in a disarming matter. But one of the powers of creativity is that well-done creativity is about results.

For all its power and adaptability, good creativity is also strangely solid.

Think of the power of a single book. It is a real thing, it exists, its ideas are there. Even a lousy book is an achievement – and a great book is even more of an achievement. A book can change the world and take down empires.

A thousand books, even in a regime trying to censor them, can bring down an empire as it can’t stop them all. The empire might not even know they exist and what they say until it’s too late.

Now take those books and add in films, TV shows, podcasts, and more. Creative people can get things done, and that’s another reason tyrants fear them. Certainly if you’ve ever seen a dictator or would-be dictator style themselves a writer and artist while promoting their obviously poor and shallow works, you know they crave that completion, that artifact showing triumph.

I think this is for three reasons.

First, creative people are DRIVEN. It is often inspiration and passion. It may involve the creative ego which is remarkably productive. But the sheer drive of creative people can keep them going in the fact of kings and despots – even if that creativity is peppered with rage and hate.

Secondly, creative people can leverage their creativity to get things DONE.They figure out ways to manage their time (or mismanage it really well). They seek ways to get their work complete. Really good creative peoples get creative about their time management.

Third and finally, creative people can be creative about how to get work OUT. They will self-publish. They will make pamphlets. They will distribute files to twenty different e-book publishers. If you are old enough like me and remember the old ‘zine days or the early internet, you know what creatives will do even without modern tools.

So don’t just apply your creativity against the tyrant and the despot. Appreciate how your creativity drives you to finish, finds ways to complete your world, and get your work distributed. Embrace your creativity as it lets you realize itself.

And it makes kings and emperors afraid.

Steven Savage