How To Create Without Losing Your Authenticity
By:     -   December 27, 2017   -   Business  -  Creatives   -   0 Comments   -   243 Views
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Photo: Nappy.co

“What were you like as a child?”

This is a question I ask nearly every creative I have a conversation with. And it is fascinating to listen intently as they pull out the glimpses of creative qualities from their childhoods. Most have carried their loves of art, writing, music and business-savvy over into adulthood and lifelong careers. It’s not easy being a creative; for many it is an outlet to overcome a plethora of things. For others, it is a sheer happy and safe place, where they go to unwind and unleash their innermost gifts. To gauge just how challenging it can be, consider coping with the ever-changing forums, fear, rejection and a bit of imposter syndrome – just to further complicate already-complicated things. Given all that it comes with, it is important to regularly self-check to ensure we are not losing our authenticity.

KNOW YOUR WHY

It will always come back to your “why” – no matter how you slice it. Remember what  you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and who you’re doing it for. If you’re doing it (whatever your “it” may be) simply out of love and self-fulfillment (not as a business venture), that’s completely valid.

WHAT ARE YOU GREAT AT? DO MORE OF IT!

Stop overthinking, and just do! Just because something is the most popular way of doing things, doesn’t mean that you also must operate in the same way; that’s the beauty of being a creative. If you are exceptionally skilled in podcasting or video content over written articles, go for the jugular in what you’re great at, and deliver similar content using a different medium. In the same way, all social media platforms may not be your cup of tea – stick to the most effective and have at it. People may side-eye me for stating this, but no, you do not have to be on all social media to get your work in front of your intended audience. *shrugs* For example, a photographer may just want to create and show beautiful images without having to construct an entire blog story or caption to go along with it. Well, don’t blog if you don’t enjoy it, and it doesn’t come naturally! Trust me, people will pick up on if you are not coming from an authentic place. But feeling like you have to do something that you simply don’t enjoy is insanity…and the easiest way to get burned out. There are various ways to do it!

Understandably, some businesses are not as forgiving and will require using platforms that are not your cup of tea. If your business would thrive more in using a medium you are not as experienced in, or don’t enjoy, hire someone to do it for you!

QUALITY TRUMPS SPEED

With rapidly-changing technology, and information right at our fingertips, it can feel like a constant rush to be the first to report on a story…or to launch an innovative way of doing things…or to get your work in front of the masses. It can be mind-boggling! When putting anything out for the world to consume, it is important to put your best foot forward. This is not to say that you should procrastinate for a long period of time, but please ensure that the information you’re putting out is well-researched and of high-quality. Being first will never be more important than being thorough. Besides, audiences are more likely to trust and resonate with a creative outlet that consistently puts out original and well-researched content. In a world where content is cranked out a dime a dozen, it can be easy to feel as though you’re getting lost in the sea of it all. How do you intend to stand out? What can you add to the the industry or conversation?

BE STILL + CONSUME

Being still for a moment to actually consume content can be very difficult for individuals who are always in the lab looking to create the next thing. Trust me, I get it. But when do you take time to read, share and explore different perspectives from other sources to help shape your overall way of thinking? On the other side of the coin, there will be times where you’ll need to walk away from a project for some time to regroup when things start to become a bit hazy.

DO IT AFRAID

For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes. If everything is right within you, nothing that happens to you can go wrong. – Terry T. Williams

Creating is scary. Creating and actually sharing your content with the world is downright terrifying. We are artists, and we are “sensitive about our sh*t”. Nonetheless, your voice is needed, and perhaps you can bring a fresh perspective or a new technology or art form into the mix. Don’t conform to what others are doing and saying if it is not deeply shared within your core, as you will essentially be letting your creativity to become stifled. You have to look yourself in the mirror every single day. Keep going.

Don’t allow anyone to put you in a box. Don’t accept from anyone that you’re not good enough. Don’t allow anyone to tell you not to dream. 

TUNE OUT THE NOISE + LOVE YOUR TRIBE

I call this the track star mentality – rarely do you see them peering left and right into the other lanes until they have reached the home stretch or finish line. It is entirely a human thing to worry about being far behind your peers, or not being exactly where you strive to be. But your journey is yours, and comparisons are distractions. Build your tribe (aka “your people”) to help you fill in the gaps, and go at it together. Just because you can go at something alone doesn’t mean that you have to.

Most burn-out happens when you are not walking in your purpose, and trying to imitate someone else’s.

Run your own race and trust your process. Oftentimes, people try to mimic the steps of highly successful individuals, not knowing what was happening on the backend of said successes. It can be hurtful, but try not to worry about those who are not supporting you, and instead show appreciation for those who do. What is for you is for you, and you will get more accomplished by focusing on your mission. Remember your “why”, utilize your gifts, and create even more. Oh, and have a blast doing it!

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