Wednesday, August 20, 2008

online creativity and anonymous critique

Posted by Picasa

There's an old saw (maxim, saying, folk proverb, didactic barb, idiom engine) that can fruitfully guide us all, especially Web workers, who tend to fall into the bottomless hole of perpetual computing:

Make it, then dance to it.


There's a time to make the music, then a time to stop and listen or dance to the music.

Let that statement melt into your mind for a moment or two.

Most bloggers I know are over-achievers, perfectionists, and workaholics. It's hard to get them, or myself, to slow down, relax, and feel the beauty of the created works, whether that productive output is blog posts, music, poetry, comedy, technical expertise, professional recommendations, or web building.

We need to stop, sometimes, and soak it all in. Keep your critical microscopes handy, but try to enjoy what you've done. Look at it. Listen to it. Laugh at it. Read it. Question it. But mainly: appreciate that you had the time, talent, and strength to do it.

While you Twitter, fellow humans just like you are stepping over land mines, being shot at, kidnapped, molested, damaged, and forced by abuse to being forever insane and humanly broken.

How to step back, calm down, and open your perception to your own work?

By abandoning self. Become someone else for a while. Put your self into the shoes, as they say, of a fan, a friend, or a random other. Go beyond ego, which is just a constructed figment of your body's imagination, and see through unconditioned eyes, hear through unregimented ears.

Listen anonymously, as no one and everyone and someone else.

Look underivatively, as the ghost of the shadow of what used to be you.

Be objective in analysis, but also be new to what you experience.

If you find it difficult to make believe you're not you, then try this: pretend your work was created by not you, but someone else.

Try to imagine (that's the power) that you've never seen or read or heard it before. Psyche yourself up to pretend you're not the person who made it. Evaluate, and enjoy, it as though it were the product of some other person, not you.

I call this technique Anonymous Critique.

It's valid methodology, because most of the visitors to your blog and websites are anonymous strangers, random web surfers, new prospects, future customers, and yet-to-be fans (or foes).

See it, hear it, read it through them.

Read a large quantity of comments people have posted to your blog, or emails you've received regarding your work, and you'll begin to savor the flavor of external perce\ptions.

Anonymous Critique will greatly boost your understanding of the online creativity you struggle so hard to perfect.

NOTE: I'm not referring to "anonymous comments" which are illegitimate, have no place on the web, and tend to be trolls. We see many webless cowards on sites like TechCrunch, who post attacks and resistance, without using a real name or a link to their blog or website. Such anonymous remarks are of absolutely no value, for they are unaccountable "drive-by" smears and idiocy.


No comments: