A Curmudgeon and The Creativity of Limits

A mate mentioned the other day that his internal response  to many of my posts was:

You’re probably right, but for God’s sake, go get laid.

Apart from the fact that as a critique it is probably true of most men in their forties, he has a point. When I started this blog I considered calling it  The Curmudgeon’s Curmudgeon. In life I don’t have the vibe of a harrumpher in a leather-buttoned armchair, but I can sound like it on occasion when I don’t rewrite in a committed way.

The lack of limits on what you write is part of the peril of online engagement: blogging, tweeting, Facebook and other social media sites, blog comment streams and so on. People can spit out content quick smart with relatively little creative limitation, without a sub-editor or editor, without the guidance of a house style, and often without strict word count limits (twitter excepted).

It leads to the ever-present problem of creative indulgence. For example, as soon as you see a movie that is produced, written and directed by the same person, you know it is highly unlikely to engage you, and for one reason. Everyone needs slapping down occasionally to produce their best work. Everyone needs to work within constraints to force them to shape their communication in creative ways.

Indeed, you can say that creativity requires thinking within a box. It just needs to be about a problem that at first glance can’t be solved within the box.

Which means the online revolution is likely to lead to the mass production of lower quality creative work, even if the ideas and talent are present.

My apologies.

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