We are truly living in a brave new world. Today, I was reminded that no generation has ever seen such a vast proliferation of talent. Even just 20 years ago, countless writers, artists, designers, storytellers, musicians, and songwriters had few outlets for their craft. However, that has changed, and changed drastically.
This morning, I had the opportunity to hear Jon, of the popular Stuff Christians Like blog, give his thoughts on open and honest writing and communication. He reminded me that yesterday’s bloggers only wrote in journals; yesterday’s musicians only played in their basements; yesterday’s artists only drew in their private art pads. Today, it’s a different story. Today, the internet has provided a global platform for every man, woman, and child to express any ounce of creativity that God has put at their disposal. And that’s awesome.
We are living in a creative renaissance in which everyone starts on a level playing field. Jon’s blog went from zero to a quarter million readers within a few months. Aspiring writers are shucking the constraints of traditional publishers and producing their own books through print-on-demand services like LuLu (and thereby making more money per book, I might add). Musicians are releasing original tracks digitally on MySpace and Facebook and personal websites. A new wave of talking heads is crashing the shores of iTunes through podcasting. The floodgates to the creative reservoir have swung wide open, and we’re swimming in the overflow of once-silent talent.
For me, blogging has become my own voice in the world. I have been writing professionally for eight years. In that time, I’ve had to “speak to the audience” of whatever publication I was writing for. In my ministry writing, my primary audience is older adults. That doesn’t provide a ripe field for the delicious and occasionally bitter sarcasm that often flows so freely from my pen when I’m writing for myself. Here, I can forsake the constraints of “proper voice” and just talk. Like me. The way I talk inside the safety of my head. Sentence fragments and all.
Is every blogger, indy musician, or YouTube sensation worth my time? No. Heck no. But it doesn’t really matter, does it? The point is that someone, somewhere is exercising his voice, his beautiful, unique voice. The voice God gave him. The talent he was born with. The gift that he’s never had a chance to share with anyone. Until now.
I’ll be honest. Speaking as a professional writer and editor, this is creating some problems. I’ll deal with those tomorrow in a potentially snobby, likely indulgent counter-post to this one. For today, however, I’m relishing in the fact that I’m one voice among many. Yes, we are indeed living in a brave new creative world. And your voice is welcome.