With all these opportunities to create, why is it so hard for us to actually create?
The Internet Age has given us access to unfathomable amounts of information paired with options too numerous to count. This is great for people who know what they want to do, but terrible for those who don’t. Because for a lot of us, the mere opportunity to do more makes us do less.
What once was a block of marble, a chisel and a hammer, has turned into a rock quarry next to a Home Depot.
- How should I manage my projects? Trello? Asana? 37signals? DOOO? Clear?TeuxDeux? Evernote? A note book?
It’s crazy to think that I’ve spent hours researching productivity tools instead of being productive, but it has happened more often than I’d like to admit.
The creator’s dilemma is not to balance all of the possibilities and create something from that, it is to ignore most of the possibilities and create something despite that.
The irony is that all of the things that are simultaneously options and distractions for us (e.g. all those tools listed above) were created by people who spent untold hours, days, months and years creating them with the utmost focus, ignoring most every other possible option and distraction.
The busting of their ass then, indirectly keeps us on our ass now.
Furthermore, most of these devices and services are not only built to make our lives more productive, but more enjoyable as well. The problem is, we tend to like “more enjoyable” over “more productive”.
Like Kaiser Soze convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick the Internet devil ever pulled was substituting connection for creation. I’m not saying connection isn’t important, because it certainly is, but John Mayer may have said it best with, “The world doesn’t need more mediocre musicians who are really good at Twitter.”
First craft, then connections. Have something worth sharing before you get lost in the mire of social media.
What are you trying to express? Start there. If you need a piece of software or a gadget for you to do that first step, then so be it, but focus on what you want to create, not all the bells and whistles that supposedly go along with it.
My first blog post for Colipera was written on my birthday a year and half ago. It has 7 views (all of which are probably my own), no retweets and no likes. It’s mediocre at best and I don’t even know if I necessarily agree with everything I say in there.
But it was the start. The site wasn’t (and still isn’t) how I want it. There are so many platforms and plugins that catch my eye but I always come back to my promise of writing useful stuff and providing my coaching services to all of you.
As the early morning light of 2013 starts to make it’s head visible beyond the horizon I join in the calling to get you to start working on something, whatever it is, and to ignore the things that keep you from doing so.
Year In Review
My favorite posts from this year (that are not on the Most Read list on my blog):
- The Magic Vending Machine
- Why Your Passion Isn’t Making You Any Money
- 33 Things I’ve Never Told You About Myself
- What Derek Sivers Was Really Saying
- Prove Me Wrong
- The Top 1 Problem With Top 10 Lists
- Die Another Way
The personal accomplishments that I was really excited about:
- Published The Accountability Effect on Amazon
- Launched the course: Ready. Set. Finish.
- Embarked on The Ignition Lab
- Had speaking gigs at Drexel University, RPI and NYU
- Facilitated Colipera Accountability Groups
- Continuted to teach classes with General Assembly
- Worked directly with Media Bistro and The Unreasonable Instiute as an advisor and coach
- Had the 2nd Year of The Nomading Film Festival
Thanks for being part of the ride and for making 2012 my best year yet. With your help, I look forward to making 2013 more of the same. To your health and success in this new year. If I can be of service to you, you know where to find me.