Thursday, March 22, 2018

Inventory for Creatives

Are you letting anxiety and fear of failure stop you from putting your work out there? 

This idea of creating a consistent body of work is going better than I had anticipated. I stopped waiting for inspiration to strike before sitting down to write and decided to publish something, anything on the blog 3 times a week. You and I know they aren't all winners but that's the point. Also, I'm feeling very vulnerable posting more often, personal, and less perfect posts. As a creative introvert I have a lot of anxiety about putting work out into the world, but guess what, Makers, Writers, and Artists! That's just the name of the game.

Anxiety and fear of failure won't kill you but not trying is certain failure. 

Are you waiting for the perfect time to start? 

It's the biggest hurdle, isn't it? To put something out into the world, to be exposed, to be known can be hard whether you are writing a book or posting to Instagram. Will anyone get it? Will anyone like it? Will I seem self-absorbed, shallow, or ridiculous? Some days it's uncomfortable. But what's more uncomfortable is the thought of not writing, creating, and sharing. The bigger vision of my life includes bringing the joy (this year's motto), sharing what I've learned, and connecting with others by writing, speaking, and photography.

Stop waiting for the perfect time and start. 

Are you waiting for your perfect work or masterpiece? 

Stop waiting for the most brilliant piece of work ever to go public with. Can I tell you a secret? For years I was terrified to have anyone read my writing or see my artwork or photos. And public speaking? Are you kidding me? The nightmare of nightmares! But here I am doing all those things. Perfectly? Nope. Not even close.

Done is better than good. 

Are you thinking it's too late or that you missed your chance?

The first time I actually "published" a piece of writing it was a Facebook "note." I literally broke out in a cold sweat knowing people would read what I had written. I was filled with anxiety all day long. And I was in my 40s! As you can see, it didn't kill me and it got easier each time.

It's never too late.

Do you think everyone might know you are just a big fraud? 

Every once in a while I think "Who am I kidding?" or "Why would anyone listen to me?" Occasionally   Often, I feel like a fraud. I have that feeling that eventually someone, or worse, everyone, is going to figure out that I'm faking it. That I don't have all the answers. Those tons of other people know more about what I'm talking about than I do. I was encouraged by Elizabeth Gilbert's post from backstage at a TED Conference a couple of years ago when she shared that she felt like a fraud being there and as she'd asked around so did every other speaker there! The top people in their fields with tons of awards and accolades still feel that way. Of course, you and I do!

Impostor Syndrome is universal, don't pay too much attention to it.

Is serving others with your creativity something you just can't stop dreaming about? 

Most days I'm just writing away alone in my studio or taking photos that make only me happy. But then I get invited to speak somewhere or I write something that resonates with someone. I get the private message, comment, or someone pulls me aside after a talk to tell me I've inspired them. To try something new. To take a chance. To begin again. And all the hours of work slip away into a pool of confirmation that I'm on the right track. The bigger idea is to be of service to someone else with the written or spoken word or photography.

Keep the bigger vision of your life in mind. 

Do you keep doing the work no matter what? 

You do it for free. You do it when no one is watching. You do it when it's lousy, misunderstood, and falls flat. You can't NOT do it. Well, look at you. You're an artist.

Welcome to the party. 

Now get to work. 


  1. SO good Michelle. It's hard putting ourselves out there. I love your thoughts and encouragement.

    1. Oh my goodness, Kirstin! I appreciate you showing up and reading and commenting! {hugs}


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