Advice for creatives no. 8 | In the particular is contained the universal

 

"In the particular is contained the universal." -James Joyce

I initially heard a version of this quote on a Design Matters episode with James Victore. His point was: instead of making stuff to appeal to a mass audience, make things that are specific, honest, and true to you.

In that specificity of individual experience is something that other people will connect to, because it comes from a soulful place, instead of pandering to an audience. It's along the same lines as Austin Kleon's quote about finding your voice. Really, it goes back to being attuned to yourself, your aesthetic, your world views. Here's James Joyce's quote in context: 

"For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal."

When I read that, I understand why I feel this urge to write about New York City. 

And here's a 99u piece James Victore wrote about this quote. 

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Kening Zhu