How can you create fearlessly in the age of information abundance?

Dea Mandija
4 min readOct 29, 2021


Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Spoiler alert: You’re currently reading the input of someone who hasn’t posted anything in over 7 months due to impostor syndrome and general anxiety over being “authentic enough”, so…your guess to that answer is as good as mine.

Hi there, it’s been a while. I know that you haven’t read any slightly curated word vomits here in a long time and any ounce of readability left in this lost space on the internet is dead, but like, I’m back (sort of) and won’t ghost again?!

Now that I’ve made a fuckboy re-entrance in your life, let’s get back to business.

Information, creativity, being stuck. What about it?

Lately, I’ve truly felt the heaviness of the sentence: “Making things is hard!”

When I say things, I mean literally anything intended for an audience to evaluate and judge.

From art, writing, content, software, ideas, a business, a business idea — pick your poison.

And whenever I get in this state of self-doubt and general confusion, there are a few thoughts spirling through my head:

“Will this amount to anything really? If the ideal career lies in this intersection of opportunity, talent, passion or whatever these capitalist gurus blabber on about these days, should my next step be monetization? How can I be more consistent with this body of work? Will this thing really matter in the grand scheme of things? Or amidst the undeniable chaos we are currently living in? How many people are doing exactly what I’m doing, perhaps even better?

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg really.

Obviously, the act of creating in itself can be a beautiful pursuit. When you’re in the zone, it’s even better.

In his Ted Talk, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines “being in the zone” as “flow”:

“There’s this focus that, once it becomes intense, leads to a sense of ecstasy, a sense of clarity: you know exactly what you want to do from one moment to the other… Sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.”

However, creating, especially on-demand, can also be filled with doubts and uncertainty.

Or maybe, you’re not a cynical realist and enjoy doing what you do just for the sake of it, in which case — Siri, cue good 4 you by Olivia Rodrigo.

But for the rest of the readers that have been nodding along in the last two minutes, let’s have a blast and see if we can get through the other side.

Media consumption ain’t what it used to be folks

Consuming is necessary for creating. As Stephen King puts it — “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

That can be applied to any industry really. Learning and curiosity are crucial to growth.

However, in this obscene sea of digital information (and pollution), having paralysis through analysis can be quite common. You need lots of patience to gather resources that include actual insight amidst marketing schemes or bullshit “industry leaders”.

The speed of online interaction has also made the media ecosystem very challenging. One turns from beloved to cancelled to untrustworthy to trustworthy all within one Twitter afternoon, SO WILD!

Having the internet at our fingertips sometimes feels like solving a giant jigsaw puzzle— but thankfully, there are instructions (even though we don’t bother to read them).

When someone is offering unique and useful insights that can improve your life, you’ll know. When they’re using difficult jargon and saying so much without saying anything at all really, run.

Has it really already been done?

To an extent, originality is a hoax, yet the fear of imitation or lack of authenticity scare us deeply.

Words such as innovation, disruption, out-of-the-box or any other ideas being overused can make it seem that unless what you’re doing is inherently unique, it lacks value. And that’s obviously not the case.

Any work created is built upon achievements spanning back centuries. The product is a combination of experiences, influences and serendipity hitting like a truck.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to care for and respect your audience.

Maybe you should pick a pet(s)?

Derek Sivers explained the concept of taking on too many projects splendidly in one of his latest articles.

When we think about developing something from ideation to execution, it’s difficult to not get jittery and excited. Actually executing it is a completely different story.

When you’re balancing too many ideas all at once, it can be difficult to treat each with the attention and passion they deserve. Ideas are like pets (or children, if you’re that person). The more you adopt, the more you’re prone to neglect or distribute your attention unfairly. There’s also a lot of guilt and shame around having all this scattered love spread out and unattended.

Only know you love your project when you let it go…

Before, I’d glance at each pet and feel love but guilt for not giving it more time. Now, I picture what could have been, and just enjoy the daydream.

So pick your pet(s). Setting realistic expectations and avoiding burnout is the new black.

Is all of it worth it?

The work that we read, listen to, watch or experience shape our lives and ideas. The ability to create is an evolutionary birthright! Wanting to give people those moments of understanding or comfort, speaks to our desire to connect.

So yes, it always is.