The internet is full of inspirational quotes designed to get people to whip into action and become the best person they can ever be. By internet, I refer to the Motivational Quotes pages on Facebook, every single creative mind and “guru” on Twitter, and whatever people post to break up the monotony of what they consider sad news.
Pursue your dream! they squeal. Be yourself; only by being yourself can you truly differentiate yourself. Misappropriated Marilyn Monroe and Dr. Seuss quotes. Don’t be a sheeple! they shout, as they act exactly the same as everyone else. Don’t forget that saying about being in a fishbowl, snowflake.
There’s a reason inspiration is so abundant on the internet. I quote famous people because I believe other people will be inspired by these quotes. Most people quote them to get more retweets and favorites and credibility.
We know most people ignore the inspiration. We’re all still the same as we were before. Much like with New Year’s Resolutions, they don’t change us. The same with blog posts and clickbait designed to inspire us—or get our money. There’s no harm in making these posts; they’ll help some people, and some is better than none.
But, for the whole, they are creating an existence of false hope. For example, writers/authors write “How to beat writer’s block” posts because they know every writer at some point will Google the same thing. Even I have. Most of the people writing these say, “Just write! Write, write, write. Stop moping around and procrastinating.” Sometimes, there’s a deeper problem. In my case, no amount of these writer’s block posts will help me enjoy putting pen to paper at the moment(or, alternatively, text to .doc). Sure, I’ve always loved writing and have wanted to be a writer since I was roughly eight years old, but sometimes we hit a brick wall. When I’m unable to write, due to real-life realities constricting my writer’s mind, these posts are basically mocking. A template for a blog post will not help everyone, and we’re not immune to this.
Inspirational posts will not maketh you a better writer. I read a ton of them in my WordPress reader, through Twitter links, etc, and while they may be well written and interesting, they do not inherently change me. Posts on beating procrastination do not make me beat procrastination. Articles on getting a better sleep cycle—well, who am I kidding? A clickbaity piece of 22 inspirational figures designed to make you feel, well inspired, to finish that novel, start that course, or travel the world—just makes one feel guilty for not doing those things.
Change comes from inside.
There’s no true quick fix to make everything better. My inability to write anything except my monthly blog posts and crappy fanfiction (well, that’s quite a lot, right?) will not be cured by reading a blog post on beating writer’s block. E.L James will not become a better writer by reading How to Write Without Oh, My‘s and Ellipses for Dummies. You will not travel the world if you lack the will to travel and the money and means to do so.
In real life, we have differing circumstances. 15 Ways to be an Inspired Writer and This Dude Plays Like Mozart—You Can Too may help some people, but not others.
Logic will take you from A to B, imagination may take you elsewhere—but to do that, it involves more than a few quick steps to that light bulb moment.
In other words, don’t be bothered if inspirational quotes and “helpful” blog posts don’t help you. These exist to look nice and to make you think a little. However, your right track is just more complex than a bullet point list or appealing dialogue by Einstein. Whether it be a lifestyle change, getting help from others, or simply looking within: only you will know what’s right.