Last week I wrote about the infliction teenagers who live in the Midwest or in the shadow of a large city have to deal with on a daily basis. In case you forgot, it’s called The Fear of Missing Out. It creeps into one’s brain around the time sitting around watching TV with mom and dad on a Friday night is no longer fun. It also happens your Facebook friends post pictures of their fancy restaurant dinner while you are at home eating ramen noodles.
This week, I am proposing a cure for that infliction. It’s called Making Your Own Content. Content (in my dictionary) is defined as writing pose, creating art, welding metal bathtubs in your backyard, making soap, shooting videos with your phone or whatever else feeds your soul. It can also include exploring the town you live in, finding new restaurants (and posting your meals on Facebook) or simply getting out of a rut.
Think about all the times you clicked on mindless websites or watched TV trying to find something inspirational or stimulating. Instead of whining to your cat or spouse about not finding something “good” out there, make it yourself! Many writers and artists have said they got started working on their art because they wanted to they wanted create something THEY would enjoy. Can’t find a good book on free-range organic zombies? Write one! It’ll be a runaway hit (and I get credit). By creating your own content, you will be 50% more productive and that voice in your head that keeps telling you to do SOMETHING will be quiet.
I have stated way too many times that I often compare myself to more successful people. While they may seem to have it all, they are doing one thing I’m not. And that’s working on their craft or Making Content. Sitting at home refreshing my Facebook page or checking e-mails doesn’t get me anywhere near my goals of taking over Anthony Bourdain’s job, but going out and exploring the town I live in (minus the mass quantities of alcohol) and writing about it does. Thus, I am making content.
Last week my friend Kim announced to the world (Facebook) she was going dedicate herself to writing one story a week for year. These would be raw, unpolished stories.. warts and all. Writers aren’t keen on presenting unpolished work to the public but Kim held her breath and jumped into the deep end of the pool as a commitment to herself and her craft. In order to stay focused, she put reminders in place to have people poke her (gently of course) if she fails to post her weekly stories.
She is creating content.
America is teeming with the entrepreneurial spirit and can be tapped to create something truly wonderful. Now you might be saying, “But Anna, I have no idea how or where to get started!” Try doing a Google search for artisan backyard bathtub welding or ASK someone at the local craft fair how they got started. Yes, you will have to talk to people, but who knows, it may be the start of something truly wonderful. There is so much free software to make music music and make movies and the cameras in iPhones mimic professional lenses.
As I close, Gentle Reader, I would like to know how YOU can get started creating and sharing your own content. What would you do? Weave cat hair into portraits of Elvis? Collect rocks from unusual places and write stories about them? Share your ideas and I’ll highlight them in future blog posts.