Chris Padilla/Blog / Books

Pratchett Had Libraries, We Have the Internet

The internet is a special place for people who love to create. Sure, you get access to humanity's entire collective knowledge, online shopping, and memes. But I think the secret sauce of what makes the internet a net positive is in how it nurtures and inspires creative communities.

Before it, there were libraries.

I'm reading Author Terry Pratchett's autobiography. Growing up, he unsurprisingly was absorbed in books and practically lived in his local library. At an early age, Pratchett was marked as a below average student. Through books and the library, though, his creativity and talents flourished.

From the autobiography, on how it all began at the library -

And, again, it all threaded back to Beaconsfield Library and those string-tied volumes, pushed across the desk. That this 'twit and dreamer' (Terry's phrase again) who found possibilities for himself in a library went on to become the author of books that themselves ended up in libraries, where they could be found by other twits and dreamers in search of possibilities for themselves... I would maintain that the circularity of this outcome satisfied Terry more lastingly and more deeply than any other of the outcomes of his professional success.

Guilty - these days my greatest influences are the ones I discovered online. Some new, some from growing up. And what drives me forward in continuing to make things is that I'm giving back to that online collection of work.

Of course, the internet is even more empowering because a much wider spectrum of creative work ends up on here.

If you're doing this, if you're writing/drawing/musicing/creating online, thank you. More than likely, you're inspiring someone that just needs a model. Someone doing their thing, showing other people that what they want to make can be made.