Create for Yourself First

black Corona typewriter

As part of a workshop, Akimbo’s The Creative's Workshop, we have to write every day for 100 days. Today is Day 38 of my streak.

Sometimes, what I write stays within the workshop. Sometimes it turns into a blog post for The Winding Road. I’ve almost forgotten that I also have this blog for non-marketing and non-career-related stuff. I’ll start posting more content here that isn’t marketing or career-oriented. 

It’s crazy how sometimes, even if you don’t have a clue what you’re going to write about, things just magically appear once you start typing. When I really don’t know what I want to write about, I just start writing that. For me, that’s all it takes to jumpstart my engine. 

That’s what I did today and here’s what happened...


Another day, another flashing cursor and not knowing what to write about. I was on a roll. I had a plan around what to write each day. Now writing about career advice seems insignificant.

I could provide tips and insight around working from home since I’ve done it the last five years of my career as well as many more before that. At this point, the majority of my career may be in a work-from-home setting. 

But it seems like everyone is doing that. Worse, it seems like people are doing it for attention and clicks instead of being generous without expecting anything in return. 

Since that’s what I perceive to be the driver behind a lot of the content I’m seeing I’ll sit this one out. I don’t write clickbait articles. I don’t want anything in return. Sure, it would make my day if someone said something I wrote helped them. But it’s not necessary. 

By simply starting to write and overcome the initial resistance, it has produced another stream of thoughts around feedback and motivation, especially when you write or are creative in any way. 

There was a time, not long ago, that I would judge the success of something I had written based on social metrics - Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn likes or comments.

I would get mad at LinkedIn if I thought they weren’t showing my posts to people - I actually know they aren’t because I’m connected to over 7,800 people and my posts will often only get about 150 views. 

But then I started to think about how things were 25 years ago or more. Having a platform like a blog to use to write and the networks and reach of social media to distribute your content didn’t exist. Someone had to hire you to write and you probably had to pay for distribution. Getting what you wrote in front of other people was out of your control. 

You were dependent upon other people and we know how rational and what good judgment other people have, right?

 So, as creatives. As writers, musicians, and artists, all we have to do is show up, create what we feel is our best work that day using platforms that didn’t exist 20 years ago and distribute it to potentially thousands of people around the world in ways that also didn’t exist 15 years ago.

We’re free to create and distribute our work without anyone standing in the way. That’s unprecedented. That’s freedom.

Don’t let the noise and algorithms deter you. If you make great work, people will eventually notice. If they don’t? Who cares. You notice. I notice. And I bet at least one other person notices. That’s all that matters.

 


Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash