Something from Nothing

Yesterday, I was staring at my screen trying to figure out how a user would create and manage the object I conceived. I wasn’t even staring at a blank canvas. I was staring at a hole, a nothing, an absence of something. It was my job to get rid of this “nothing” and replace it with “something”.


It reminded me of a movie called The NeverEnding Story based on a great book of the same name. The fantasy land was destroyed, by a faceless menace called The Nothing. In the end, it was up to the hero to replace it with Something which shone like a tiny shining star in your hand.


I was staring at The Nothing yesterday for several decades (seemed like it) until I lifted my hand and made something, anything on the screen. The goal wasn’t to make something right. It was to make anything at all. Just put it on the screen. A rectangle. A piece of text. Something is better than nothing.

The next few hours after that were mostly a blur as I put more stuff on the screen and then erased it and moved it and prodded it. It was like clay that you just bought and it too cold to work. But after kneading it in your hands, it warms up and is pliable. Changing Something is much easier than changing Nothing.

This is how creativity works. All ideas are cold little bits of light that you must work and knead and stretch into something bigger. Going from Nothing to Something is hard, it is the first step. Each step after gets easier until you stop.  Then you have to do it again.

Each morning, I wake up, turn on the computer and stare at The Nothing. Right now, in WordPress, I replaced it with Something about Creating. What will you replace the Nothing with today?

I know this is kind of Meta, but I think that creativity is the soul of the human race. It is what drives us forward. I also think most people don’t try or don’t know how to do it. If I can help just one person, it moves us forward.

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