The one aspect I desperately miss from past employment is the creative outlet those jobs provided. Teaching writing, editing a literary magazine, and publishing anthologies offered nonstop engagement with art, artists, and the creative process. The lack of creative outlets in the first year of publishing ILNJ spawned our Original Memes page, and recently, the synchronicity of four events reminded me I needed to create, for my own mental well-being, more memes.
Within 24 hours, I subconsciously blurted out on a podcast that I desperately missed not having more creative outlets as part of my job, was solicited a dozen times in emails for do-follow links and affiliate programs, was repeatedly bombarded by those Fisher Investments commercials, and was told I am good at creating the anti-viral meme.
To lean into the synchronicity and release the creative buildup, I crafted our first set of satirical memes this year. Since launching, News Joint Original Memes, I have created and published more than 25 original memes and nearly 20 Groverbs. Our favorite memes, we have created into T-shirts.
Our Original Memes are often esoteric, outdated, and counter to the latest meme fade, also known as, the “anti-viral meme.” Our Groverbs are tongue-and-cheek creations or adaptations of famous proverbs from around the world geared to inspire registered patients to grow their own medicine.
In general, I have five rules for creating original memes for Illinois News Joint.
- Because memes are my only real creative outlet, I craft them for me. So they have to entertain me. If I think the meme is funny and/or entertaining and delivers what I want for an original meme, I truly don’t care if others enjoy the meme or not.
- To entertain me, memes usually have to be funny, offbeat, eccentric, void of clichés, and/or esoteric. Most importantly, I want our memes to be unique, unexpected, and creative. Plus, I’m a huge fan of satirical backhands.
- I don’t follow or chase meme trends. I won’t hop onto “trending” memes or rehash worn-out memes that everyone is plastering across social media.
- I don’t force the creation of memes on a schedule. When the germ of the idea hits me, I write it down and see where it goes from there.
- I create and design each meme from scratch. It takes too much time and usually is not worth the effort.
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