Brighton Beach, 6th October 2023
Image by Bev Morris
This obsession with speed has always been with us. So has the fear and dire predictions of
the end of humanity it generates. Think about to the hand-wringing that ensued when
Stevenson’s steam train exceeded 28 mph. There were cries that women’s uteri would be
ripped out at such speeds (I’ve checked, mine’s doing okay).
So, this blog is a call to action to all creatives: I want you to create something that is uniquely you.
Today, we’re engulfed by the possibilities of AI. It promises to write bestselling books
instantly (from tropes and well-worn narratives), to create extraordinary images (from all
the implicit and explicit bias the internet harbours), and to compose the next great pop song
for you (using some repetitive beats and aped lyrics that probably weren’t that great in the
first place). None of it is original but that doesn’t seem to concern many people who use it
for ‘creative’ endeavours. Rather than enjoying the process, the inherent challenges of
creating something unique and the time spent wrestling with a sticky plot point or a
harmony that just isn’t pleasing to the ear, there is a sense that more is better and faster is
This rush is what is actually dangerous. It takes away the gentle pleasure of sitting in a park,
listening to the birds and being inspired to write a poem or sketch the clouds. It removes the
wandering and pausing, the curiosity and surprise, that come with creating anything from
within us. It cuts us off from other creative people who have wild ideas and rebellious
notions of what is acceptable. And that takes away our individuality and control over our
environment, our lives, our thoughts. We run the risk of becoming reduced to ‘the hands’ in
a Dickensian factory: our humanity is no longer valuable, we’re only useful for our ability to
produce goods that make someone else wealthy.
What could be a wonderfully democratising and liberating tool for people could quickly
become a tool of creative oppression. So many people use creativity as a way to improve
their mental health that if we’re driven to sit in front of screens it’s unlikely that we’re going
to feel better about ourselves as a result.
Think about your own creative process; what is it that you love about it? For me, it’s talking
to other writers, reading books, playing with collage, wandering down rabbit holes,
discovering lost facts, finding inspiration in old photos, making connections that no one else
has seen, struggling with ideas, creating something that is important to me. Ultimately, it’s
the satisfaction I feel when I know I’ve written a piece that speaks in my voice. AI can’t do
that for me. It can’t learn for me. It can’t feel for me. It can’t enjoy the process for me.
So when you’re worried that AI may be disrupting the creative world hold that thought: it
can’t enjoy the process for you. That’s what makes you the creative person you are and it’s
what makes your work unique and important. Humanity is the sum of the individuals it
supports and individuals all have something to contribute to humanity.
My challenge to you in this blog is to create something that is uniquely yours, something
that tells the world who you are and offers up something new to support other creatives.
Then, post it here or tag me in your socials. Here’s my offering:
Life on Earth
I am the sum of my ideas, the fractals of my friendships, the infinity of my love.
I measure my life in teaspoons and laughter.
I am the voice that sings in the shower, the face in the mirror that is my mother.
I live in the moment, the past, the past, the past.
I am the herstory I created, the damage I have done, the questions I have asked.
I remember my life with pain and joy.
I leave this world changed.
I leave this world as dust.
I leave this world as I found it.
You can find me on via Twitter/X and FaceBook @MarvellousMinds and
Instagram and Threads @MarvellousMindsCreatives