If you are someone who jumps at the chance to build something out of nothing, this is for you.
If you find joy in the process of using your hands, this is for you.
If you struggle to combat the lies that come your way in the midst of bringing your idea to life, this is for you.
Earlier in the year, I had a thought that kind of bothered me:
if I had been consistent with my work and ignored all the lies my inner critic [Betty] whispered to me about the weight of my worth in what I create, where I would I be today?
It honestly bothered me more so because I hadn't thought of it sooner.
Since I couldn't put that ticking-like thought aside, I leaned into what it would look like to be consistent. In doing so, I believed I'm doing future Kimber a favor in pursuing the work amidst the mundane, the unknown, and the judgmental territory that is creativity in 2021.
It's only been a few months and I've already learned so much about the work I put out, the audience I want to reach, my "why" and truly more about myself and the confidence I lacked for years in my writing (and also the lack of time I have to care for the nasty opinions of other's or myself - just gonna say, you don't have time for that in your creative process, friend).
Along the way - and even still - I fall victim to the lies that target the work I do.
There are several in particular that I think are fairly common across the board for creator's and I wanted to create a space dedicated to shutting down those lies.
Because when we materialize the little lies, they alter the way we see ourselves and others, and ultimately shift what we were meant to do - what we actually have passion for.
We miss out on something incredible. We miss out on serving others. We miss out on personal growth. We miss out on flourishing relationships.
You were made for this, and no one else can do the work that you do.
Period. The world needs you to do that work.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering: when I say "young", I'm not referring to age.
In this context it refers to the early stages - the starting line - of your walk in bringing that spark of creativity to a full on bon-fire. You can be 12 or 90 and have a new start - that's part of the magic in creating.
1. I Have Nothing New to Bring - I'm Not creative or Unique Enough
First of all, you wouldn't be reading this or starting that new book, website, podcast, or business had you not been creative.
Second, you will always have something new to say and do because there is no other you.
In all transparency, when someone would say that to me, I rolled my eyes. It felt like an empathic handout or pat on the back out of pity in my moment of self-loathing and doubt.
And it's not prideful to state the fact that you are unique - God didn't make two of you for a reason.
What you bring to the table and what you offer is completely tied to you. The conversations you have, the relationships you build - no one else has that then you.
We can also doubt that what we have to offer is truly "unique" - it's 2021 and it's hard to think of something completely out of the ordinary.
Ya'll, inspiration comes at us from different directions: other people, nature, personal experiences, or how good our coffee was that day.Unless you commit copyright fraud, I think you're on a good path to creating something beautifully tailored by you.
Keep in mind that you could very well be the first to introduce a subject to someone. Often times, as a result of following a specific field, we assume everyone must be aware of that same thing. Not true!
2. Numbers Define My Worth
Where numbers do play an integral part to reaching your business goals, it doesn't hold weight to what it is you offer. You can have 10 followers, 1 "like" on a post you thought was great, and still have an exponential amount to offer.
It takes time (and consistency) for what you create to get noticed - there are one off chances we see on social media platforms where it only took one viral comment to get an individual or business noticed, however that's not the target we should really be aiming for (for a number of reasons, the biggest one being the end goal is not to have a "one time" success - but to progress in your creative goals - continuing to grow even after things are great).
There is a time to be realistic with the financial, and there is a time to be kind to yourself when it's just too hard to get past the small number.
It's easy to compare your today to someone's year 30 in the journey of bringing your ideas to life. Let this be your reminder that doing that won't get you closer to your goal, it'll actually pull you from it (quite a lot). So apply grace like water.
Keep your focus on your "why" - and if part of your why is to relative to numbers - prioritize the work and communication with your audience, clients or support since those are what heavily influence the result.
3. Mental Blocks are a Sign to Quit
For writer's, this is popularly known as "writer's block" - where you're basically sitting in front of your computer (or pen and paper) with a blank water-eyed stare and zilch in your brain. This has happened to me too many times to count. It's frustrating.
For other creator's, this could be when you can't figure out what product would be a hit, or you've been debating for days how to set up your photo session so you capture what everyone wants just right.
In those moments, it's easy to think these are a sign to throw in the towel and quit. I testify against that and say it's really a test of sorts to your will in pursuit of what you wanted to start in the first place - will you build resilience to continue what you know is worth that struggle?
A tag-team doubt with this lie is whether what you create will resonate or be a resource to anyone else. This can leave us spinning in circles - mentally or physically - because we strive to reach large groups of people - so how the heck do we get there in one try?
We can't know this for certain, so the unknown factor with this weighs heavy on our natural response that leans to "no, it won't".
There have been countless times where I've listened to a podcast of a friend, who may not have the outreach as someone who's name is known far and wide, but have impacted myself and others more so by their story and way of communication.
You will always resonate with someone else - whether it's just 1 or thousands - the unfortunate thing is you won't always be made aware of it. And that's not a prideful thing to admit (I feel that has to be repeated in this post).
Creating something for others - through pure exhaustion, confusion, doubt, and fear - is a humble act that takes a ton of risks and sacrifice (just because you don't express that with other's does not mean it isn't real for you).
So when you face a road block, know it's really only temporary, just as those firey productive days are. They will come, and they will pass. And the result will be solid.
Take a break, eat a snack, hydrate and get back to it - whether or not you have all the words or "best ideas" at the moment. Trust that something will come.
4. I Don't have the Time
I'll make this brief.
I don't know your life - I don't know all that you have on your plate (3 jobs, single parenting, dealing with hardships, etc.). I only call this out as a lie because when I say I don't have time, I really do, I just choose to use it scrolling through funny videos or taking a second nap in one day.
Should we cut out things that bring us rest? No.
But we can definitely cut out some time during the part of the day that works best for our creative waves to flow.
For example, if you're a morning person, try waking up an extra 30-60 minutes early to get stuff done. And make it the same day every week. I personally cut out time on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings to edit a post, jot down ideas, or work on the website.
We certainly won't have all the time we would like, but that doesn't mean there is no time to be spared. Setting 10 minutes aside toward this is better than none at all.
5. There is a Specific Order to Get it Done Right
A friend of mine asked "how far do I go into the 'this is sh*%' section before 'it's just bad'"?
Honestly, I don't think there's a time frame on that. You could put something out there - signed, sealed, delivered - and still feel like it was complete and utter garbage.
Or you might think it's the best thing ever and don't believe anyone else will see it that way (psssst - other people will probably like your work more than you - surprise!)
So is there an order to things, a way to reach perfection, to get things done right?
Done is better than perfect, every single time. This has been my mantra on the days where my perfectionist side is screaming this is not good enough. I think this falls in line with waiting for motivation - that's not a trait, my friend. It's an act you just have to pursue. Things will be choppy. Words might be wrong (yay, spelling errors), mistakes will be made - and those are the stepping stones you take to tap into the better version of the creative side. I'm not saying to intentionally make mistakes, just to trust that process when they are made.
6. Consistency is Harsh and Restrictive for the "Creative" Process
Wrong-o. In fact, I believe pushing ourselves to dig deeper when all we want is to lounge on the couch for hours on end brings us to some of the best things we put out there.
Rest is important, but putting in the work is vital to growth.
It might not be the first thing you make, but along the way, you will see how sticking with your why long enough brought you to where you are.
7. If I step Away, I'll lose Momentum
It's true that you might have to step away because, oh I don't know, life and responsibilities and you have other priorities?
That doesn't always mean you'll lose the track you've gained.
See it more of a pause, not steps taken back. Almost like when you're in the middle of a video game or movie and you don't want to start over, you pause it and press play when you're ready to come back.
And sometimes when we "press play", we forgot what in the world we were doing when we hit pause. Whether it's doubt or mental block - it happens. My suggestion is to lean into that hard space - it's when you consistently tackle the tasks that you walked away from that really cool things happen (for you, those you serve, and the "business").