Inspiration and innovation, or borrowing and repetition? Continuing from my What Travel Bloggers Say vs What They Mean and Three Things I Am Sick And Tired Of Reading On (Travel) Blogs, I take another look behind the scenes of the world of travel blogs, so you don’t have to and can focus on just going to awesome places.
Kerouac, possibly the first hipster travel writer once said “nothing is new under the sun” (paraphrasing a muuuch older book), and though the film of On the Road sucked (Was it Stewart? Or Dunst?), his writing was incredible and special to me so I’ll give him a break.
Essentially – the blogposts, the titles, the series have all been done before – I betcha Ancient Greeks were scrawling papyrus posts like my ‘Yes, No (Maybe)’ (‘pfft Sparta is so last year’) and ‘Hood You’ll Love’ (‘I heard that place behind the Acropolis does the best almond latte!’), and I reckon the robots we’ll all be replaced with in the future will be doing their hardest to upload to all their metallic pals the ‘10 Awesome Things To Interface with in Metropolis 3000’. It’s the same with photography, though the Ancient Greeks would have done selfie drawings instead, it’s all pretty much been done many moons ago, everyone from Henri Cartier Bresson to Peter Parker and Kim Kardashian have done everything already. So why should you care? Good question!
Well, I think this inspiration is important to keep blogs fresh and pushes people to be more creative – which may not be obvious on the outside but is always going on behind the scenes. I’ve been inspired by countless blogs, as well as music, films, books, radio,TV magazines, photographers, people and even animals (a Chihuahua gave me the idea for several blog series), but the main thing I take away from it is that energy, enthusiasm and honesty, whether it’s an art-house film, an issue of Cosmo, or an incredible album, and so I like to take this energy and idea and make it my own the best way I can. Obviously we all have WordPress and the world is only so big, so there’s bound to be crossover, but innovation is important. While I always aim to innovate – this is the reason I started Tea Was Here – I really enjoyed travel blogs, and wanted to throw my voice into the arena, but it does feel like I’m on Series 99 of America’s Next Top Model sometimes – where there’s a lot of agendas going on and lots of aggressive determination to put it politely – but sadly there’s no elimination round with bitchy fashionista put downs ‘put down that donut girl!’ and goodbyes – ” I’m sorry your blog will not be returning next week, please pack your laptop and vacate the house.” It’s definitely a race, but whether you choose to aim to be Usain Bolt, or go for a more leisurely stroll around the track (maybe take a hoover board!), is really your call.
But we shouldn’t let this stuff get in the way of what we’re all here for – having fun and sharing our favourite stories, tales and insight as we all explore everything we can take in, because regardless of whether someone borrows an idea off me or I borrow an idea of someone else, I enjoy everything about what I do here, so I hope that shines through in my work, whether I’ve been original, inspired or both!
How do you get inspired?