Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

Stop Blending and Put True Magic into Your Creativity

Have you ever read something you wrote or viewed something you created – be it a blog post, a painting, landscaping, or anything that was meant to be creative – then realized it’s more typical than unique?

You followed a proven formula. So your creation should be attracting attention. But it’s not. It’s part of the collective.

It is time to become an individual, to stand out and be noticed.

Creative Commons by cGaleano

The Burbs

You’ve driven through suburbs where house after house look identical.  Each house may be different inside with unique individuals and families, but you wouldn’t know anything about them from just driving down the street.

But when you come across the one house that looks different, you notice it. It’s not extravagant or covered with flashing lights. It’s just, well, different, and in the suburbs that makes it stand out.

The different house got your attention and if you had to choose houses to visit it would likely be at the top of your list.

The same thing happens when we create art without following any specific formula.

Let’s say you’re a blogger writing, well, blog posts.

Your words may be unique and your message special, but to the casual reader who has read article after article in the same tired format they all start to blend together and it becomes hard to recognize one author from another.


The problem is too many bloggers have become trapped by the typical directions out there on how to write and present a blog post.

Use lists, use bullets and create magnetic headlines.

Everyone else is doing it, and that’s the problem.

They have been assimilated.

It’s no surprise so few bloggers actually set themselves apart.

Every now and then the content is so exceptional that an author will stand out. But that’s the exception, not the rule.

The collective

How many times have you picked up a magazine in a waiting room, read a few articles and then put it back on the table when your name was called without a second thought as to who wrote the articles?

Each article is part of the collective.

Magazines, newspapers and other publications have done this for decades and they do it on purpose.

It’s because they want the reader to focus on the publication.

The advent of Blogs helped writers break free, gave them a way to allow their creativity to flow uninhibited and they began to set themselves apart.

And yet, slowly but surely most are becoming assimilated into a new mold.

Great blog writers do not stand out only because of what they write.

They stand out because their presentation and overall style is special and unique.

Consider Seth Godin, who many say is the words greatest blogger. Clearly, his name is one of the most well known.

Which formula does he follow?

If you’re familiar with Seth you probably know the answer.

Seth writes his ideas and doesn’t appear to follow any specific formula. Most people would simply say he is concise.

His words are meaningful, but he has a seemingly total disregard for doing it the ‘proven’ way and that sets him far apart from the collective.

One day Seth will write a blog post 500 words long and the next day he might post one that is merely two sentences. He only uses bullets and lists when absolutely necessary for his content. His headlines are hardly considered social media bait and really, they don’t need to be.

Seth is clearly an individual. His name, who he is and what he is about matters more than any formula.

Resistance is not futile

If you want to break free and stand out as a unique creative person, sooner or later you’re going to need to allow your own style to develop and shine.

That’s the only way to create an instantly recognizable name for yourself.

Formulas are great as guidelines to get started, but don’t become reliant on them.

When you get the urge to present your work differently, do it. Put a ding in the universe.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

-Steve Jobs (Tweet This Quote)

Bet on it.

Steve could have made Apple to be just like Microsoft, after all MS was setting the “standard” and he had tremendous pressure from those who “knew better” to do so.

So many companies followed Microsoft’s lead. But Apple didn’t and now you have iphones, ipods and ipads and more, and the memory of an innovator who will never be forgotten.

The bottom line is you will never set yourself apart if your doing what everyone else is doing, the way everyone else is doing it. 

Content matters

But whatever you do, don’t be fooled into thinking it is only about the content.

What you’ve got to say may be meaningful and brilliant (it is), but if you’re presenting it in the same way as everyone else, then you’re setting yourself up to be just another blog writer.

You know the writer I am talking about.

The one using great lists and bullets, with mind-blowing headlines such as:

How to Make a Boat out of Silk and 7 Ways to Fly a Kite Upside Down.

Yep. That one. You know who I am talking about… don’t you?

Perhaps not, because he or she could be anyone since so many are doing the exact same thing.

They are only filling in the blanks. They’ve become assimilated.

You’re better than that. You know it and I know it.

So stop blending.

Put true magic (your magic) into your creativity by being the remarkable, special and unique individual that you are.

Don’t just create something that matters, create it and present it in a way no one else would. The way you would.

How are you setting yourself apart? Share in the comments.

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

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  • I read something last week (can’t remember where) that spoke of the danger of using formulas to craft our blog posts. Guess I may be on the right track, because my blog is becoming a mishmash of topics and ideas. 🙂

    • lol I think I know where you read it and that post is the reason I had to delay posting this one. Kind of ironic really. Check out what I posted on FB in the TW group today and then you’ll remember where you read it 🙂

      • Oh that’s so bad. Of course I remember now! Is there a cure for forgetfulness? Maybe my creative mind is just too busy with story ideas. Yeah, right! 🙂

  • Way to go Bryan. I get the feeling you are getting better AND faster. Say yes to faster ok. Because I am working, yes, working hard, but posting and shipping–as in doneness!– is slow.

    • I have a little more time this last week and that has helped. I’m saying yes! You, too.

      • Faster eh, excellent. I have a few topics to write about, you know how it is, there’s the blog AND the article to be written. Thanks for encouraging me to be less blend and more bold.

        • More bold. I like that, Marilyn. Keep moving forward every day.

  • Amen Bryan

  • Well said – Just when we think we’re being “edgy”.. we need a smack on the head (Thanks!) to help us get MORE creative.

  • Good post Bryan. Uniquely you.

  • Very inspiring post, Bryan! Yes, we should know the “rules” but we also need to know when to break them and let our uniqueness shine. We all have something to offer that nobody else does, and that’s what we need to find and share!

  • Matt Maresca

    Fan-freakin-tastic post Bryan! One of the best I’ve read in a long time. I tell ya, if any of us tried to emulate Seth’s blogging style, we wouldn’t have any readers. That’s his and his alone. But you’re very right that there’s a great lesson there. Don’t copy the successful bloggers, become one. And become one on your terms with your personality shining through. That’s the only way to give your best value anyway, so you might as well be creative with a passion. Just awesome, man.

  • Hopefully my sophomoric pictures and lack of higher vocabulary will help me stand out. That might set me apart from other blogs. Tee hee! You are very right though Bryan. Content rules, and this is a great article.

    • Thanks, David. Yep, keep focusing on providing quality content and let others spend time filling in blanks.

  • Hm, great article and it is making me really be self-reflective. I’m finding that a lot of times I jump around. Sometimes I am formulaic and other times I’m more creative and “different.” What are your thoughts on how I’m doing, Bryan? Brutal honesty. 🙂

    • Vincent, I sent you an email, but just so we are clear, I think you’re rocking it with your blog. Continue doing what you are doing.

      • Ashley

        I will have to agree with Mr. Hutchinson; great job with the blog!

  • ElisaLeederMS

    I am a newbie in the blogging world. But how to get an audience? You say be exceptional and stand out.

    My blog is about the struggles that flood our lives, and the solutions we have within ourselves and our lives. My therapy work, which inspires my blog, reinforces what you say about true magic and creativity. We stand out by being uniquely ourselves—and we solve our greatest challenges the same way.

    I appreciate that what you say about successful blogging fits perfectly with what I promote for all other types of relationships. I am exited to take my audience on a journey into magical ideas. My blog, highwaynotmyway.com, like yours, promotes solutions, not just a bullet point approach to coloring within new lines.

    Elisa Leeder, MS

  • Ashley

    I love this post just because it’s inspiring. Thanks for being an inspiration and breaking people out of their shells and expanding their wings!

  • Eileen

    Good thoughts, Bryan. Anytime I attempt to follow a formula I tend to get pulled off course. We are uniquely created and that’s what should shine through in our writing.

  • Bryan you said this two years ago? Prophetic for writers! Thanks for making my day. I’m redoing my about page and repurposing my whole blog. Great conformation!