The best content creators always make one seemingly impossible thing seem impossibly easy: They add something new and different to everything they create.
They take the same exact mediums available to every single creator on the planet — text, audio, design, video — and come up with amazing new ways to use them. Just think about how remarkable that is! It's all the same lump of clay from which we all mold our work, and truly special creators can somehow unlock things we’ve never seen from within that raw material. Each and every time.
This might lead to an entirely new approach to a certain medium, like what Radiolab does in making science sound like music or the New York Times did with their interactive piece Snow Fall.
Man ... to be THAT good.
But maybe it's not about that. Maybe it's not about being an otherworldly creative superhero or the next Radiolab. Maybe something small can have a big impact. After all, above all else, those amazing creators seem to be driven by the joy they receive in the act of giving their audiences something different.
What if we all thought like that?
Going one step further, what if we PROMPTED ourselves to ACT like that?
What if, in each and every project, we pushed ourselves to give our audiences something they’ve never seen before?
The next time you’re creating anything, be it for work or for fun, here's what I'd challenge you to try: At the top of your notes or your draft, write out a placeholder that simply reads, "One Different Thing.” Then, by the end of your work, before you hit publish, make sure something is written next to it.
Sometimes you'll come up with something the audience overtly identifies and appreciates. Sometimes it will be more subtle. And sometimes it won't work at all. It doesn’t matter — what matters is we all try to honor our audiences.
In a growing sea of sameness, they deserve something different.