Why Creative People Should Bother Adding to the Noise

I was emailed by a subscriber recently who brought up, in my view, one of the most significant questions that we face as artists and entrepreneurs.

All around us we see other great artists; other people starting businesses; people with incredible talent; beautiful products; people making average work; competition, noise. Stuff. Everywhere.

People in every corner of the planet are this very second working away at something new to bring into existence. They are adding one last brush stroke to a painting. They are typing in the first line of code for a new app. They are writing the last crucial page of that novel.

Or like some of us, they aren’t doing a thing because all this noise stops us in our tracks.

If there is so much stuff out there, so many goods and services and products and great art, why does the world need yet more stuff?

This is the question I received from my reader. Why bother?

This for me is a huge question because if we don’t know how to answer it, it could mean that we never make that step.

But yes, why bother? If we never invented that new widget thing, would the world end?

Does the world need what we create?

Well, no. The world doesn’t really need us. Nothing you will ever create is really necessary, in the wider picture.

This can be a sobering fact until you realize that this is only true when you underestimate the potential of one single person.

Think about moments in your life where you were really inspired to create something. Very often, a single individual provided that spark of encouragement.

For me, whether it’s the playful writing of Roald Dahl, the film-making skill of Ridley Scott, the courage of Martin Luther King Jr, or even the charisma of particular classmates in school, all have impacted my life in a good way.

The list goes on. There is no end to the range and contribution that various people have had on my life.

In a world as full of people as it is, isn’t it marvellous that one person can change the way you act and think so significantly?

En mass, the world is a seething, noisy conglomerate of chaos.

But seen from a new perspective – we can see that individual humans are what make this world the way it is. Individuals can possess an enormous power of influence on every one of us.

Influence need not be felt at a global level, of course, and the value of people are seen in all spheres and in all corners.

So when we wonder to ourselves whether the world needs yet more of our creativity, even more of what we can contribute, it does – but on one condition.

We need to be doing what makes us come alive.

This is where your true value as an individual manifests itself.

This is where the world needs us. The world doesn’t need stuff. The world doesn’t need more art.

The world needs more people who come alive through making art.

When we look at the world through this prism, what we see is that very few people are really alive. This is the real currency. And it is in massive demand. Very few people are truly awake, who use their energy in a positive way.

Very few people do what it takes to produce passionately at a rate consistent enough to get noticed. And this is what is required of us.

We are inspired, not by the work we see hanging in galleries. We are not inspired by the music we hear per se. We are not brought to life by the buildings we see around town. We are inspired because we have discovered someone who has found their outlet for expression that resonates with us too.

I’m currently living in Bangkok, Thailand. Recently I had a dentist’s appointment in the Silom district of downtown. When I got there I found myself staring straight up at the tallest new building in the neighbourhood – the MahaNakhon.

MahaNakhon Building, Bangkok, Thailand

With it’s notable share of fashionable and bold architectural achievements, does Bangkok really need another tall, quirky building? Not really. It does and it doesn’t.

But the point is that I felt inspired looking up at the building, because I was seeing the result of someone who was living with aliveness and purpose, and had the courage to share that creation with the world.

When more people are living with purpose and are able to use the energy this generates for positive ends, then great things happen.

So create and contribute, because it will bring you to life, but do so while earning enough to keep it sustainable, and more.

As I always say, get your needs met first. Do what you need to do for enough money, shelter and food, then do what energises you, and keep doing it. You might not know what that is yet. But you will find out when you try a few things and stick to it.

The world needs more people who do what they do for themselves. They do it for their own spirit.

You need to do it for your own spirit, and then you need to share that spirit with the world.

The energy you bring to what you do will flood into others like a nourishing virus.

If you can find that thing that raises your frequency, then you will know that the world needs what you do.



  1. This was lovely, brilliant, inspirational and exactly how I’ve been feeling at the moment. I’ve been able to start creating again, with purpose, because I’ve remembered who I always was. A person who loves to draw, tell and be told stories, visually and through words.

    After all the years of reading yours and others advice and looking at other artists, I’ve stopped being so hard on myself to be perfect and just create anyway and it feels like that heavy cloud of overwhelm has finally lifted away.

    I feel good about drawing again and I don’t feel the pressure to produce perfect work on the first go or even at all. I feel free, like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m currently taking part in the 2016 Inktober challenge and its been good at getting me drawing consistently and following other artists work. Maybe at the end I’ll finally have work to put in my portfolio, and if not, I’ll keep going till I do.

    Thanks again for this article, It feels like another universe sign that I’m on the right path.

    • Thank you Tope! This is exactly what I’d hoped to help with through this idea – that creative work shouldn’t be pressured, but done out of raw energy.

  2. Just had one of those many “no your work is not right for us” moments that are an occupational hazard in an artist’s career and this post is one of the many little drip, drip, drip things that help to keep me optimistic. Alive, yes, the creative force is one not to be underestimated. When you find your flow it’s like being hardwired into the universe 😉

    I also like this: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/feb/23/change-life-helsinki-bus-station-theory

    Glad to be getting your emails again 🙂

  3. Writing is so subjective, this statement is very true. But there are many things we can do at the most elemental level if we want to be taken seriously.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *