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What Are You Creating?

Create /krē’atē/ verb – to bring (something) into existence.

The topic of creation has been on my mind a lot lately.

Largely this is because I have been working with a few clients and even and some friends to help them realize their intention to create content.

For some, creation means starting a blog while for others this means shooting videos or making art.

I believe we are meant to do more than just work. We (humans) are meant to create.

Do you remember Maslow’s hierarchy? At some point, true self-actualization requires we make something from nothing.

Creation is something we are naturally drawn to.

What else explains the popularity of DIY, craft brewing, 3D printers, Instragram, Scrapbooking, Tiny Houses, or those funny wine and painting places?

A segment of the population even refers to themselves as Makers.

Yet we spend most of our time ‘at work’ and for most people, our ‘work’ only represents something to sustain us financially.

This morning, the New York Times posted an opinion piece called Rethinking Work. Its worth the quick read.

Imagine if we replaced ‘What are you working on?’ with ‘What are you creating?’ Even better, imagine meeting someone for the first time and asking ‘So what do you create?’ instead of ‘What do you do?’

For me, that is the distinction between work and creation… In work its about the destination while creation is all about the journey.

Of course we all feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when we complete a project or achieve a goal. But compare this to the continuous enrichment we feel when creating something.

While creating is intrinsically rewarding, I believe living powerfully through creation requires sharing your creation with others. For many, this is the scariest part of the journey.

Every Sunday I send a short email with my best work. If you would like to be on the list to receive articles like this one CLICK HERE.

I’ll leave you this with a request below but first I want to share some words of advice on the creative process to either help you on your way or motivate you to start creating something meaningful to you.

Know your audience, Love your audience, and Serve your audience – of course we create for ourselves but we ultimately create for an audience. Knowing who you want to serve and how you want to serve them is the most important aspect of the creative process.

Choose a medium… any medium – I believe people should work with whatever medium represents the fastest path to their creation. For example, it is easy to get stuck trying to edit the perfect video. All of my videos are taken with a basic video camera (or iPhone.) I trim the ends, add a fade-in/out, and publish.

Creation is a contact sport – The less thinking you do the better. Pick an audience; pick a medium; and start creating. The process itself will guide you along the path.

Schedule time to create – W Somerset Maugham was attributed with saying: “I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes at nine every morning.”This quote was actually penned by Faulkner but you get the point. Schedule time for creating just as you schedule dinner dates and gym time.

Creation for you is fulfilling… Creation for others is enriching – As scary as it might sound, your creative process will grow and thrive when exposed to the world. Who knows, you may even motivate others to take the leap.

You can’t and won’t please everyone – While enrichment and fulfillment come from sharing with others, you need to accept that everyone will receive your effort differently. Don’t take the praise or the scorn seriously.

Don’t worry about making money – it should go without saying that the goal of creation should be the creation itself. There is nothing wrong with making money from the audience you build. However, trying to focus your creative energy on what will be most lucrative impedes the process. You are far more likely to gain commercial success from something you are passionate about than something you think will ‘sell better.’

And now here is my request:

Leave a comment and let me know what you are creating.

– Tell me why what you are creating is important to you.

– What goals have you set for yourself?

– Share what you are not creating that you wish you were but haven’t started yet.

– Lastly, use this message as an opportunity to make a personal commitment about some creative venture you have been struggling with. Commit to starting or completing something big or to sharing your work on a grand scale.

Every Sunday I send a short email with my best work. If you would like to be on the list to receive articles like this one CLICK HERE.

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