writing vs creating content

“Creating content” vs writing

Given that blogging is somewhat correlated with writing, I thought this article about tips for novelists may be of interest to some of you:

Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody,” said Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet more than a century ago. “There is only one way. Go into yourself.” Rilke, of course, was right – nobody but yourself can help. In the end it all comes down to the strike of the word on the page, not to mention the strike thereafter, and the strike after that….

“This most of all,” he says. “Ask yourself in the most silent hour of night: must I write?”

Everybody who has ever felt the need to write knows the silent hour. I have come across many such people – and indeed many such hours – during my writing and teaching life. I’ve been teaching now for the best part of 20 years. That’s a lot of chalk and a lot of red pencil. I haven’t loved every minute of it, but I’ve loved most. More here

And then The New Yorker’s Evan Waite and River Clegg giving it everything in this rant in their “Daily Shouts” about advertising and “content”.

I hate the term “content”. So American commercial, it’s like it’s a commodity. Aristotle didn’t create content, he wrote!

“How was your day?”

“I created 5 GB of content today!”

“Gosh, that’s amazing!”

Anyway, it’s brilliant:

Isn’t content great? It’s such a helpful distraction from the things that worry you. Like how your hair is thinning and your daughter no longer looks up to you. That stuff is a real bummer—unlike content. Content is awesome! It’s got everything: music, jokes, unlikely animal friends. One video is just eighteen seconds of a dog sleeping. Over three million views. Is watching an ad really too much to ask when your reward is a brief respite from thinking about what’s become of your life? More here

P.S. my blogging friend Dr Bob Rich has just been nominated for the People’s Choice Award. Please vote for his book “Guardian Angel” here http://www.tckpublishing.com/readers-choice-voting 

Click the LEFT arrow a few times to get to his book! (This request isn’t in any way sponsored).

11 thoughts on ““Creating content” vs writing”

  1. But, Doc, “content” is the commodity they sell, and in the US everything is about selling, especially of you can get the “content” for free! So writing is content production, so is video production, etc., etc. Used to be art, it was.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I see your point. I was thinking of you today and I’m glad I did. This is an interesting post. Twenty years is a long time. Neat.

    I just finished Lawrence Lessig’s “Future of Ideas.” It’s about the early days of the internet. Pre Content. I’m awash with ideas from this book. Now. We are all WordPress users so we only interact with each other through content. Sort of, like an artist makes a piece and shares it with the world. The ambitions are similar but not the same. As a user, our posts are a kind of social currency. Now, most users say they don’t care but they probably do if they received the money from ads on their website. Also, I feel like we seek out like minded people until we are confident enough to look beyond the safety of those people.

    The hardest thing to understand is that we may never be the next great internet star. Seeing as everyone is shining so brightly and those that shine brightest are rewarded for their content, with money. Only them. So, this great invention of connecting so many people is just, a bit fake in its actual connections toward other people. I’m glad that we all have voices I think the next evolution is that we share. It feels a bit like kindergarten especially on YouTube with the comments and non thinking.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I see it as just another way to express yourself. I think that hoping to become a star is probably a misguided and empty goal. But I love blogging and long reads. It’s by far my favourite genre of social media. I bloody cant figure out why people love instagram with its repetitive, fake, copycat photos… there is such depth and integrity to blogging. You can’t keep up the bullshit if you write a thousand words a day. I guess I just value integrity above all else. And you know what, even if nobody comments, it’s so interesting to look back on what you wrote 3 years ago, you get to “meet” a person like you simply couldn’t through any other medium

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I like what’s said here in your reply. You and I may be about the same age where we can remember what it meant to communicate without Emojis. Where you were pretty much the same person in your words that you are face to face. Social media has evolved our language to it’s weakest link which brings us to pictograms and memes. They seem like a shorthand for thinking but more representative of a hive mind. This thinking mass of collective consciousness that has no inertia toward something greater. Instagram is interesting in what we choose to identify. You are right about the ten second videos that go viral. I think we miss the power that ideas hold or these associations to ideas. I worked for Coca-Cola the other day. I saw their ads probably a couple hundred times so when I left and was thirsty I closed my eyes and cleared my head to ask myself. Do I really want a Coke? Unfortunately, Americans are so used to being influenced they don’t take the extra step to untether themselves. It is frightening, but this is how we live now.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “There is only one way. Go into yourself.” I like the approach. I’m not sure how efficient it is by itself though. But I do believe that knowing yourself as deeply as possible enables you to somewhat filter the advises you receive throughout the course of your life. This ultimately helps you towards your path.

    Liked by 1 person

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