Creativity CatWhat’s the job of a creative person?

When you think of what it means to be creative, your mind might run to fanciful worlds that have never been seen before, or stories that have never been told. The more original, the better, right?

Well not according to John Cormack, creator of popular video games such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake. He has something different to say about it. Granted, he’s talking about video games, but the same principle applies to movies.

“If they buy the next Call of Duty, it’s because they loved the last one and they want more of it. So I am pretty down on people who take the sort of creative auteurs’ perspective. It’s like ‘Oh, we’re not being creative.’ But we’re creating value for people – that’s our job! It’s not to do something that nobody’s ever seen before. It’s to do something that people love so much they’re willing to give us money for.” [Emphasis mine]

[full article]

In reference to the above quote, Sean Malstrom goes into quite an insightful discussion of Cormack’s philosophy on his blog. He reminds us creative types that while we need to be inspired by what we write, ultimately our enjoyment needs to come “from the audience getting enjoyment.”

Are you writing for just yourself? Or are you writing for both yourself and a mass audience?

Photo: YJGM

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