“I aim to misbehave.”

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Written by James Dowd,
• 2 min read

It's both a nerdy pop culture reference and a nod to the Oscar Wilde quote, “A writer is someone who has taught their mind to misbehave.”

That's why I found it fitting, as a nerdy writer, to put it right on the top of my business card. And, while others were putting clever work-focused lines, like “I take the lead,” I felt the need to rebel, to actually misbehave, and do something completely different. After-all, I'm in the creativity business, and doing things differently is in our nature.

As creatives, we've always felt compelled to fight against what is expected of us. In school, we cracked jokes and were said to be “disruptive.” We kept our heads down and silently sketched in our notebooks, and were labeled “disobedient.” We skipped class and went out to see the world, and were called “deviant.” We embraced being different, and made it our life's work.

Now, as professional rebels, we strive to be the outsider with the big, shocking idea or the game-changing innovation. We find our worth in seeing things differently and making a show out of any moment. We find our power in embracing experimentation, challenging conventions, and searching the great unknown.

Tell a creative it's already been done, and they'll gladly find a different way to do it. Because, where we see disorder, we wish to create order. Where we see harmony, we wish to create chaos. It's up to us creatives to break the rules, to ask what's next, and to find connections between strange, unexpected things. It's what they pay us for.

But, our biggest hurdle is the place where we get it all done; our workplace. It's where rigid structures, processes, and rules are made to guide us, but inadvertently pose the risk of crushing our creative spirit. The more restrictions placed upon us, the more we fall in line and find a comfortable routine, and the less we explore.

Without taking risks every day, we risk dissatisfaction and a numbing of our skills, so fight against groupthink and conformity, embrace your inner rebel, and go break some goddamn rules already.

Let the creatures of the commonplace play it safe. I aim to misbehave.