Creativity And Revelations

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Obviously I’ve thought a lot about truth and creativity. We live in an age of so much B.S. truth matters. Shared reality matters – and by that I mean shared reality with connections to actual stuff that’s real.

We need creativity to tell the truth, especially in an age of lies and deceptions. If you’re a creative person, this is an important ability you have.

First, creativity can let you communicate truth in a way that connects with people. You find a new ways to say things, to show things, to illustrate things. A game can say more than a novel, a novel more than a news article, a news article more than an interview.

Secondly, creativity lets you find how to connect with people in new ways to communicate truth. One person may relate to imagery, another to song, another to the written word. In trying a one-on-one or one-on-some communication you can tweak how you show the truth.

Third, Creativity lets you find out how to avoid disinformers and liars and tyrants. You can undermine them right under their own noses as they don’t understand how you’re explaining truth. They might not be able to imagine what’s being said about them (and will only get more unhinged as they know someone is out there).

Fourth, speaking of, creativity gives you new ways to undermine lies to get to the truth. Mockery, for instance, well-delivered by a creative person drives serious liars and tyrants crazy in frustration. Clever protests leave a dictator fuming in the face of the unexpected. As liars are undermined, the truth can come out.

Fifth, creativity, gives you new ways to see the truth. Preaching, advocating, arguing, etc. can wear you out and the same thing can become boring. By imagining new ways to say important truths you become energized with potential and stronger in having new ways to see things.

Communicate truth with creativity. Leverage those artistic or musical or linguistic skills to refresh truth! If you’re an artist of any kind (and you probably are) you’ve got a powerful tool.

Steven Savage

Creativity Is A Warning

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How many times to we discuss a real world event and compare it to something in fiction? “This is just like that book,” we say or “this reminds me of that movie.” Lost in these realizations is often the fact that we were warned and we should either be thankful for it or shamed we didn’t listen enough.

Of course we should also ask how many times did fiction and art help us head off even worse things in the world? We may have sudden realizations, but might want to ask how many times the creative prevented awful things.

With these inspirations of realization, shame, and wonder we should then ask how can we use our creative abilities to head off bad things. Sure we worry about the wars and tyrants of the present, but we should also work to warn and inform and help people prevent them in the future.

Those yet to come may be quite thankful we gave them enough warnings in our creative work.

This is a massive power that creatives have. Because we connect with our works, we can warn effectively. Because we inspire, we can get people to see future threats. Because we teach others to dream, we can produce new generations of creatives to carry on undermining tyrants.

We should also keep in mind how subversive our work can be. Yes people may invoke the warnings of certain classic books and films – but those are the obvious ones. It’s the inobvious ones that the oppressors current and future miss, and the ones they may either sweat over in fear or not even know exist.

So ask yourself this, how are you going to use your creative power to not just head off the dictators and oppressors of now – but of the future? Maybe you’re busy with the fights of now, but if you can prevent the fights of the future, give it a try.

Perhaps you create a predictive work to warn of what may happen. You may prevent a problem, or help people deal with a future one.

Perhaps you create a work that develops skills or views to face the challenges of the future. They become more creative, or introduced to new ideas they will use, and so on.

Perhaps you create works that let people see the present differently and make different future choices.

And even if you can’t prepare for the future, maybe your current activities can keep oppressors off guard by making them wonder what else you might be doing that affects the future. Keep them guessing with that imagination.

Steven Savage

Creativity, Resistance, and Results

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

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