No joke, I've tried starting this letter probably close to a dozen times already.
Trying to find the perfect place to start. The perfect wording. The perfect way to come back from my blogging break.
But the problem with perfection? All it does is breed procrastination.
- "I should wait until have some epic free gift ready to send."
- "I need to set up a new content strategy first. Gotta wait until that's ready."
- "There's no way I can concentrate on my writing with all these distractions. I'll wait until I'm somewhere else."
Waiting.... Always waiting... Waiting for what?
I'll get back to that in a minute.
First I want to talk about a book I finally got my hands on and have been constantly devouring like a madwoman ever since, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Man oh man, I'm LOVING this book so far, I could go on for hours about it.
Today, though, I want to focus on one line in particular:
"Creativity is a path for the brave."
This really got me thinking...
Whenever fear hits me most is when I'm creating.
Writing, lettering, designing, painting, even coloring in coloring books? Doesn't matter. All of it sends a giant swarm of butterflies churning away in my stomach whenever I go to get started.
I used to only practice my hand-lettering on loose paper because I was so afraid of "ruining" my sketchbook if everything wasn't absolutely perfect.
Same with writing notebooks. Raise your hand with me if you have a huge collection of pretty journals that haven't been touched yet (let's change that today, yeah?).
And actually putting creative work out there? I always have exactly a gazillion and one second-thoughts running through my head like a rabbit on steroids whenever I'm about to press "share" or "publish" or "send". Just like I'm about to do with this letter.
*cue nervous sweating*
Something I've noticed, though, is no matter what, there's this urge to create and share inside me that's ALWAYS there, begging to be let out.
I'll procrastinate. I'll try to ignore it. I'll make excuses.
But all of us know the unmistakeable pull that's leading us onto these different creative paths. At some point, you have to face it head on, fear and all.
Like Elizabeth also said, this isn't a path for the fearless. Creativity is a path for the BRAVE. It means doing things even with the fear. Especially with the fear.
"And you have treasures hidden within you - extraordinary treasures - and so do I, and so does everyone around us. And bringing those treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion, and the clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and we simply do not have time anymore to think so small."
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
When it comes down to it, perfection and procrastination are just fancy names for fear.
They're fear in disguise, trying to convince you that you can't do it yet. You need more research, more practice, more time. You're not ready.
Whether we like it or not, fear is aaaaaalways gonna be around. We're all dealing with it in some way or another on the daily.
But it doesn't have to end there.
I KNOW there's something creative you're feeling pulled to do or start.
What immediately popped into your head after reading that? 'Cause I promise you, there's a reason why it's the first thing you thought of.
Answer that pull. Explore. Experiment. See where it takes you.
I know you're scared. And I get it, I'm scared too. Literally all the time.
But what's going to set you apart - what's going to really make a difference in your brand and your creative journey - is gently telling that fear, "I hear you... But it's okay. Let's go for this anyway."
Keep being brave.