Kevin Smith recently had a heart attack. The creative force behind Clerks, a guy incredibly dialled in to pop culture and the world of film and a fantastic podcaster who rode the wave of media, was overweight and incredibly unhealthy. It was only a matter of time before the scythe came whistling down.
He had a narrow escape. I watched him on Joe Rogan’s podcast this morning – and I was so glad to see he was looking much better. They had an incredible conversation: emotional, real, honest, funny. Kevin shared some fantastic insight on the enormous dichotomy between someone who is creative – and someone who isn’t.
On the way to the hospital in the ambulance, Smith was thinking “Well, at least if I get out of this, there’s a story in it. I can run my mouth on stage, or open a podcast.”
That may seem morbid or delusional, but it’s not. Over the last few months (since I set up The Ink), and especially over the last forty days (where I’ve written and shared a new post every single day), I’ve experienced a complete paradigm shift in the way I look at the world.
I’m a reporter now. I’ve got a deadline to meet every day – and the editor (also me) won’t take no for an answer. So, I go out into the field and gather material. I do research. I interview the world. Every little thing I do, I read, I hear about, I watch – I feel like it’s for a reason.
I’ve got this platform, a small corner of the internet that I created, where I figure out little insights, draw comparisons and similarities, and try and form them into cogent, useful posts.
Hopefully it’s useful for some of you. To be honest, though, I’d do this for the rest of my life – even if nobody ever read my blog again.
I never feel bored, or restless, or empty any more. I feel like I’m in one of those old cartoons, where to make the train speed up, they shovel coal more furiously into the furnace: I’m energised. I’m itching to make shit happen and do good work.
My world has expanded. Creating things does that to you.
I’ve realised what my goal for this site actually is. It’s to light the spark in people who think they’re not creative. Because we all have something to add, and I think the world would be a better place if more people thought a little more deeply about what went on around them.
And it’s not about doing it for the sake of it. I don’t want to write just to create beautiful sentences, or draw to make pretty pictures. As Ryan Holiday wisely says:
“When you find something that is new and different and you can’t wait to share with the world, you’ll beat your fat hands against the keyboard until you get it out in one form or another.”
So get out there and find that thing that something.