As the days of EYF seem to slip further and further away, personally, I should be feeling a number of things; excited, energised, thrilled, proud but all I feel is a little lost. A few friends this weekend have asked me how EYF was and how it went for me personally and these two things feel very different which has led me to explore my inner voice a little. So, if you will forgive me, today’s blog post is about that little voice inside and whether we should listen and amplify or listen and forget.
Creativity for me ebbs and flows like it does for most creatives out there. When I’m full of energy the smallest colour, scent or music piece can inspire a series of posts or podcast ideas. Usually, when this gets harder a coffee or a skype call with a friend can fuel inspiration or the threads of collaborations start to form. While at EYF, I was surrounded by knitters, podcasters, bloggers and there wasn’t a spare second to sit back and really take in all the wonderful things or ideas they mentioned. The entire event was vibrating with the hum of creativity and ideas seemed to fall from the roof of the Corn Exchange.
Now that I’m home, I have some wonderful posts to share with all of you from the new yarns launched at the show, some wonderful conversations had with designers and knitters and I’m so excited to continue to write those posts and chat about them on the podcast. When I sit back and reach for my creative voice, it’s somewhat quieter than it used to be. When I sit back and think about my direction forward with the blog and podcast they don’t seem as intertwined and complementary as they used to and as I contemplate this, my inner voice, you know that one which fills you with self-doubt and insecurity, starts to get louder and louder until it’s all that I can hear.
As this voice inside grows, productivity wains and this last week I have found myself in a sort of limbo. I should be excited about moving forward but my inner voice is almost screaming at me to be still. At first, I thought it was insecurity because, for the first time in my life, I’m out there promoting myself, this blog and podcast and that is a little scary. Anyone who creates will tell you that promoting themselves is hard. I know I can sing about yarn fibres, designers or indie-dyers that I love almost without any thought because what I’m saying is how I really feel. When it comes to my work, when my path or direction is murky at best I turn to my followers, friends and then inward to find my path forward.
When you leave a comment or reply to a forum post or tag me on Instagram / Twitter, it shows that you care about the content that I create and that in a way inspires and increases productivity. But what happens when feedback leaves you spinning in a multitude of directions? Productivity comes to a screaming halt and I begin to second guess everything that I do or create.
I am not alone in this and for creatives and small businesses this loss in productivity is not good for that bottom line but it does force you to stand still and really listen. Take a second and listen to your inner voice. Is it negative or positive? Is it coming from a place of insecurity or self-doubt? Or is it just asking you to be still and take stock?
I just got to pray now that me, myself and I, can chose my own road, my own life; can chose my own path of what’s right -Liz Seaver, The Voice Inside
My Inner Voice
This last week has been the most confused I have ever been since starting the podcast. I have no idea why I felt down or why I’m not humming with my usual happy demeanour. The feedback and collaborations from EYF have been overwhelming. I can’t thank all of you who came to visit the podcast lounge enough. It wasn’t just EYF, all of the feedback from the 10th episode giveaway has been amazing and I will be adding what you all want to hear into the podcasts over the next few months.
Why, when my following is growing and everything appears to be going well am I so apprehensive? This leads me back to my inner voice. If you are like me, I usually squash my inner voice and take direction from others. The Notebook was born from the screams of my inner voice needing to create a space for me. Somewhere to inspire others, to share stories, to dream and to forge my own path in life.
Realistically, it has done that and I have gotten to share that with all of you and I’ve never been so happy to have all of you join me in this exploration. Today, as I sit and write, I have been listening to Liz’s album Turbulent Bliss and it’s amazing how you can listen to songs for months and one day one of them will really speak to you. I was sitting there singing like I always do while drafting an outline and I realised that the lyrics of The Voice Inside echoed exactly what I was feeling. I sat back and listened on repeat for so long I lost count and then it came to me.
By stopping everything, I could listen to myself, the anxiety of launching things for the first time, writing in the public space for the first time, podcasting and interviewing people I have admired, has really taken its toll. In the beginning, I was terrified of doing things badly but you know what? It’s ok to make mistakes because this is how we grow. By listening to my inner voice getting louder and louder telling me to stop, no, forcing me to stop even though I feel like I don’t really have the time, I allowed that intense quiet and calm to exist in my space. In that still and quiet my inner voice began to whisper and this time I listened and it wasn’t with self-doubt. This time, it brought a smile to my face and along with it came that deep down feeling in the pit of my stomach when I know something is right but I’m not fully sure I understand why. The seeds of a new type of creativity are beginning to form but you will have to stick around to see what fruit they bear.
How do you deal with your inner voice? Do you drown it out? Do you listen or do you even hear it? And if you want to, you can listen to the reason I can smile again, The Voice Inside by Liz is embedded below and you can find her over on Soundcloud or iTunes if you need more.