Are you ready for a serious confession? I’ve spent the entirety of my career as a communications strategist creating insightful, cutting edge, and in-demand content for clients, and I’m shit scared to do the same for myself. That’s why I’ve decided that it’s finally time to develop a creative practice.
I’ve spent extensive time over the years in mental gymnastics trying to work through this. My best friends have also been tired of me not pulling the plug on various creative ideas and projects. That is why they were all so excited for the launch of WKND Mood. It was my personality, it had nothing to do with the heavier work I was most identified with, and it was me releasing something I created for me, and not for a client, into the world.
While I know exactly where that fear of outing myself doing something personally creative comes from, I also mastered delaying what I actually want – to develop content and ideas that motivate and inspire me and those like me. I thank my masterful procrastination and trying to make some ideas as perfect as possible for this.
We are in June, and it’s a month that I’m always excited to see. It’s my birth month, and it also ushers in all of the magic of summer. A few weeks ago, as I reflected on what year 39 would mean for me, I feel incredibly grateful for the life I’ve been navigating and also content. In that contentment, I realized that I already have the tools that I need and the skills to get more tools to achieve the things I want in life. I also felt, if not now, to do some of the things I want to do; when?
As cliche as that may sound, it is the truth. So at the end of May, I decided to commit to developing a creative practice that would allow me to share and engage with the world using the tools I already have. To be clear, this isn’t something new, but the things that I really care about I want to show up for them, sharing information on slow living, sustainability, building a whole new business, and how life is impacting me.
For some people, creative freedom and a creative practice might mean movement, poetry, theatre, crafting, or painting. For me, it’s a mixture of creating visually as well as in writing. It goes back to why I got into communications in the first place. I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to share the lives and the experiences of people. My creative practice will be about sharing my life and my very own experiences. Simple, but at the same time, nerve-wracking for me.
If you have been experiencing anything that resembles what I’ve shared, here are five ways I plan to develop a creative practice over the month.
It’s so much easier to say something than actually to do it. Here’s the thing for me right now, though: I have been saying that I want to spend more time being creative for three years. I want to spend more time writing. I want to create this and create that. By even writing this blog post and sharing it, I’m publicly committing to showing expressions of my creative freedom all this month. I’ve written my commitment down and making a public declaration.
Setting Small Goals
I have broken down my big goal of developing a creative practice into smaller goals. So, for example, I want to share more of my work and the process of building a company. That will look like showing up on my platforms of choice – Instagram and this very blog. That means planning and actually developing said content. To help me out with this, I’m using Kat Gaskin’s Content Planner. I love the simple spread, and Kat provides excellent guidance on her Instagram on using the Content Planner and developing content ideas.
Practicing isn’t easy. It’s the hard part of doing something. During the practice, you will find that you are not good at a particular thing and have to lean in to get over mini hurdle after mini hurdle to be a savant of anything. But practicing is also where the magic happens. It’s a chance for us to explore different ways of reaching a mini goal and stretching ourselves to find something new and grow.
For the month, I plan to practice creative freedom by actually creating content that I want to see by scheduling time to write, create and share. A book that has helped me get out of my head when it comes to developing a practice of any sort is – get this – The Practice by Seth Godin.
In our home, I have a small office downstairs. Since the pandemic started, that space has gotten smaller because it has become a catch-all space for things. I’ve managed to clean it out and will be using that space for its actual purpose – a quiet room where I can create.
I have also scheduled time in my calendar to do the work I say I want to do.
There are a few persons with whom I share similar goals. We have made reasonable intentions and even set up virtual meet-ups to discuss our progress. I have also started sharing a lot more on Instagram of different things I am working on, particularly building WKND Mood. I always appreciate people’s comments and checking in on the progress of building that brand. Feel free to connect with me over there and ask if I’m working on my creative practice!
If you are thinking about starting a creative practice, I hope this gave you some insight as to how I am developing my own, and feel free to share what you have been working on. If you are not, I welcome you to stick around all June for this journey with me.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below and until next time, live well.