OK so not the most original of titles in the world. I know. But It does explain the content of this post well so I’m sticking to it. I love the concept of dancing like no one is watching. It’s something I do myself. Possibly because most of the time when I decide to have a little dance, nobody is watching… that says all you need to know about my dancing ability. But no, in all seriousness, even if there was an audience, I’d happily dance carefree, void of any fear of judgment.
But, until recently, the same couldn’t be said about my other creative pursuits. We’ve all read posts in the past about the importance of creating content for yourself and not worrying about the way said creations will be received. But it’s easier said than done.
Time poor, idea-rich
As a working mum with two children, a myriad of community obligations and a household to manage I am time poor. You probably are too. So when you manage to prioritise time for your creative pursuits perhaps you’re like me and want to make sure your time is meaningful. Spending 11 hours filming and editing a video only for it to have a lukewarm response if any at all might seem like it was a poor use of your time. You could have been spending that time with your family or on another video that may have done better. But here’s the thing. It’s not a waste of time.
- Did you enjoy making it?
- Did you learn new skills whilst you created and edited it?
- Have you just added 11 hours of realtime experience to your bag?
Chances are you answered yes to some if not all of these. Even if you didn’t enjoy making it, that in itself is telling and something you can learn from.
Creators are basically athletes, no?
Not everything we create needs to celebrated by our audiences. It’s not realistic to think it will be. We came into our creativity because of a passion or inquisitive need to learn. Most of what we create is purely an exercise, preparing us for another moment we may not even have imagined yet. Look at your work as training. If you are an athlete, you may train 6 days per week, completely under the radar of your adoring fans, only for them to see and celebrate the handful of races or games they get the joy of watching you perform in once per week. It doesn’t mean those 6 days of training you did was any less important. In fact, without it, you’d probably suck come race day.
Create to please yourself
The idea of your work not being well received may hold you back. Or maybe you suffer from comparison syndrome and can’t see the beauty and brilliance in your own work. My message is the same. Create to please yourself and don’t worry about the audience. Your audience will find you. Create what makes you happy. What makes you nervous because it’s so special to you.
A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to speak to a room of 100 women about to engage on a life changing program which would see many of them join the tech world for the first time. I spoke to them about the power Blogging had on my life, enabling me to change industries at work and introducing me to some of the best friends I have. My message to them was to “Create before you Consume”. Basically to spend time focussing on your own passion projects before spending time looking at what everyone else has been doing. It’s something I forget to do myself and in a way, this post is as much about reminding me as it is about encouraging you!
So what are you working on at the moment? Whatever it is, I hope you’re enjoying the process.