THE Creativity Chronicles
“All these songs I’m hearing are so heartless. Don’t trust a perfect person and don’t trust a song that’s flawless”
I’m loving these lyrics by Twenty One Pilots and they sum up a lot of the stuff I come up against on a daily basis. How many times have you read a website and not been able to put your finger on what doesn’t feel right? They may be saying all the right stuff and it’s well written and often wonderfully worded but it just doesn’t have any depth. No truth or tangibility, you know?
I’m seeing more and more of what I call “glitter websites” – pretty little things with the trendy scroll fonts and perfectly polished calls to action. Sales funnels that take you through a free offer that lead to an email chain that is ever-so-personally addressed to you and yet lacking so much meaning at the hollow heart of it. Too much sparkle, not enough substance.
Because there is no heart. No brand heartbeat. No authenticity running through their veins and their voice is just, well… perfect. And the problem with sounding perfect is firstly, everyone is starting to sound the same: the same offerings, the same lead magnets, the same sales copy, the same third person bio. And secondly, as Twenty One Pilots say… there’s no trust. You can’t truly trust perfection and you can feel that it doesn’t really resonate.
This is usually because someone is trying to sound as they should not as they are. They believe if they sound “right” then they will win clients. However, they will often end up winning clients that are not a good fit because the ideal clients aren’t attracted to a voice that isn’t authentic and in tune with them. #Catch22 (or as I’m calling it Catch21 since lyrically, Twenty One Pilots have nailed it:
“I’m in constant confrontation with what I want and what is bopping. In the industry it seems to me that singles on the radio are currency. My creativity is only free when I’m playing shows”
I totally get this, in fact I’ve been there. As a writer, I’ve been so well-versed in a multitude of voices over the years that I completely lost my own. Who are you when you have the ability to be anyone in the world? Very rarely was I myself. I learnt how to blend, to impress, how to be liked and how to get work.
But my creativity is only free when I’m being me. I know I can’t always be me. I’m a copywriter – my job is to get deep with my clients and represent them. But I get to really represent them now, not just pay it lip service. I know I’m getting to know the real them. Because I’m showing them the real me and when I do get to write as myself, I can show myself in all of my colour and, more importantly, in all of my darkness – because that’s where my depth has been hiding.
Twenty One Pilots are a talented duo musically and even more so, poetically. Their music represents authenticity, fearlessness and purpose. And I like that – it feels authentic. And in their words:
“They say ‘stay in your lane, boy, lane, boy.
But we go where we want to.
They think this thing is a highway, highway
But will they be alive tomorrow?”
And that’s the question. Because the brands that last, the ones we buy into and believe in, they are the last ones standing, keeping it real.
And as for the same-as-the-others, lane lovers? They’re left for dust.