One of the questions I get asked a lot is how I got here. There is no magic answer and I didn’t do it alone. I’m part of a wonderful community of creatives who support one another. I don’t believe that one person shines brighter than another, if anything we all have our talents and we, like the stars, shine brighter at different times. We each have our moments and we share in each other’s successes and we feel our failures. When I feel like I have worked hard and I’m proud of one particular thing, I say “Hey guys, look”. In return, I do the same for them. Each helping to reduce the fear that grows with having a presence online.
Every blogger, writer, content creator, artist, creative, you name it, has felt the fear, from big offices to those typing at their dining table. That dread of releasing something they love out into the world. They have no control over how it will be received and that is terrifying. This thing that they have lovingly produced, spent time on, cried over, vowed never to create again, but there it is out in the world being enjoyed, loved, shared or sometimes ignored by others. That process has a little bit of fear attached to it. It’s unnerving to step out into the world and say “This is Me”. What if no one likes it? What if it’s taken the wrong way etc.
Yup. That fear. I gave in to that for a long time. I’m still nervous when I record my podcasts. I’m still nervous when I write and share my work. When I pitch collaboration ideas, yup, fear but and this is a big BUT, I don’t let it stop me. When I’m really scared I turn to my friends that live in my phone, because like me, they never seem to sleep. I tell them why I’m scared. I voice the fears I have or ideas I’m trying to wrangle together into a tangible thing and guess what?
They never laugh. They help to mould a thought process or massage an idea into being. Although the blog and podcast are mine, I am never alone and I never created anything alone.
The podcast grew because of the wonderful guests that came on the show in Season 1. The ones who took a chance on me having never heard my work before. It grew because of EYF and the media lounge and Louise Scollay and Jo Millimine talking sense into me. Let’s face it EYF has always supported creatives. My work grew slowly and organically because I listened to Kate O’Sullivan in her workshops not because I trusted her completely (which I do) but because what she said aligned with my own thoughts. I dug deep to find what I truly love but it didn’t hit me suddenly, it evolved with a year of creative play.
It also grew because I treated it like a job. I have an editorial calendar that every now and then falls behind and goes through a crisis that life inevitably throws my way. I tried to release only what I truly loved even though I never had a direction pinned down. It grew because of a wonderfully receptive audience who waited 2 weeks between episodes, who subscribed and shared the content. Each lending their hand to share my creations. Can my work be better? Can I create better images, write better posts? Yes but we all need the space to learn, grow and develop.
Sheer Force of Will.
You have to believe in yourself before asking someone else to believe in you. The fear never goes away and I think it can actually help to be a little scared. It is a good thing, in moderation But you need to be brave. You need to create your idea; bring it to life with a sheer force of will. As much as there is an amazing community out there who will have your back there are always others who don’t. They may not like what you create, they would do things differently. This is my one piece of advice to that:
Hear the feedback /criticism but listen to your gut.
No one can find your direction for you. You need to explore and find your groove. Surround yourself with other creatives and bloggers. Step outside your niche if you have one. If you don’t have a community find one that aligns with your thoughts and goals. Some where you can be you. You can join our group here but you don’t have too. I have a close core group that is amazing but I have different groups for photography, knitting, craft and creative writing. I am endlessly thankful to each and every person who chats with me and if you don’t think I’m nervous pressing publish to this post, you would be wrong. That little unease in your stomach, I have come to learn that that’s a good thing.
Alone we fall prey to our fears but together we build something truly great. Brick by brick. So next time your scared, reach out and find that sounding board that you need.
Screw the naysayers. There is enough badness in this world. Be part of a community that brings us together and pushes us to excel and achieve greater things.
Today, be a little bit brave.
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Note: Lisa Sisk should be in this gallery but for some reason in all the years of This is Knit, I actually don’t have an image of myself and Lisa!!! That shall be remedied!