I posted the following quote today on my intellichick tumblr:
“When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.”
– Cynthia Heimel
Then I proceeded to see 15 people like and reblog the post throughout the day.
By tumblr standards, this isn’t a ton of people, but my most popular reblogs and likes are generally anything I make related to tv – quotes or an image. I understand this from an SEO/tag/“fan numbers in the public audience” perspective. I am also well aware of the internet’s home to many TV fandoms. This quote, however, being neither related to TV or celebrity (I posted an Elle photo shoot image a few days earlier featuring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis with similar reception), made me wonder what about it had such an interesting appeal.
I posted this quote because it reflects my creative self, my willingness to make mistakes and be seen a little crazy. For me, the potential return value of letting an idea be expressed outweighs the potential silliness of the idea. Magic happens in unexpected places, but it can’t happen unless you’re willing to jump.
So I suppose I see Ms. Heimel’s quote as reinforcing what I already believe while also letting me feel as if I’m a part of a community. I’ve always been a fan of the community aspect of creative people. Being a creative person is sometimes off-putting because there’s a part of you that surfs on the edge and you’re never sure who is on (or even understands) the page that you’re on. Creative communities give you the permission to be exactly who you are (even if some people might not completely “get” you either), providing you with that safe place where you know everyone is just as weird as you are – and being weird is awesome.
I’d like to think that the reception of this quote on tumblr reflects the above, and if so, I hope by sharing it, it inspired someone to make a creative leap.