Do You Want to Be Creative, Or Do You Want Attention?

Recently I was scrolling on YouTube, as one does, and a suggested video popped up in my feed. The video was a TED talk by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I’m not one to sit and watch TED talks, but the title of this video intrigued me, plus it was a short talk, so I thought why not?

In the talk, Joseph chats about how craving attention, which is a natural human desire, actually makes you less creative. The reasoning behind the argument is that when you’re making something with the intent of gaining attention, you tend to be more outcome focused, rather than remaining in the open, receptive state you need to be in to create.

Joseph speaks from personal experience both from an example from childhood and how as an adult his attention seeking can interfere with how he shows up online. This talk really hit home with me because for the past year or so, I’ve been reluctant to post consistently on social media.

And it stems from not wanting to put my focus, which I believe is best served fostering my creativity, on trying to gain followers. I realize that a writer needs readers, at least in theory, but I’m not writing to gain readers. I write for me, because I’m a writer, and that’s what I do.

If you create, no matter what you create, I hope you do it just for you, because it brings you joy, peace, and a sense of fulfillment. Don’t do it to get eyes on it, because that will always lead you to a place of emptiness, turmoil, and a feeling of not being enough.

Sending loads of love and creativity your way!