What It Takes Pt. 5: In Practice
There’s often a gap between the theory and practice. It’s the gap between our good intentions and what we end up doing in reality.
You can follow every step in this seven part series and read every piece of advice on the internet, but it won’t work unless you’re actually doing the work you really need to be doing.
At the time of writing, I need to:
Stop worrying about my newsletter being the best newsletter ever written and actually send it
Get a proposal together for a venue interested in working with me on an artist development project
Book a photographer to take some high quality press shots of my deeply camera-shy self
Overcome my Instagram-block
Get over the feeling that listing the work I’ve done and people I’ve worked with feels like bragging and add them to my About page
Stop coming up with different podcast ideas and names and just make the damn thing
*If anyone wants to work with me on any of the above, get in touch! email@example.com
Yep, we’re all in the same boat. The people encouraging everyone else to live their best lives on the internet have a long list of their own challenges.
The truth is, a lot of us are doing way too much thinking and not enough doing.
I’m not talking about lazily putting out something of poor quality. I’m talking about putting huge amounts of pressure on ourselves to only launch something if it’s fully formed, finished and incredible without going through a period of R&D, trial and error or incremental iteration.
You get better by doing. I like to imagine it’s called a creative practice because that’s exactly what you’re doing; continuous, deliberate, productive practice.
I can read every article on the internet about writing a great newsletter, but the truth is my favourites are written by people who give something of themselves. There is no article about how to do that, you just have to do it. Then test it. Then make it better.
There will always be a thousand reasons not to do something.
It’s not good enough yet, the people around you aren’t supportive, you don’t have enough money, you’ve been rejected in the past, you’re worried about putting in loads of effort and feeling like it was all a waste of time (and the list goes on).
All of the issues on that list are tough and make it harder, but they’re not actually stopping you, you’re using them to stop yourself.
How do I know that?
Because if you present any of the seemingly insurmountable barriers you face to someone else, they’ll quickly present a workaround or a solution. At which point you’ll hit them with all of the counter-arguments to their suggestion instead of joining them in the search for potential solutions.
In fact, if someone else presented those same barriers as their own in front of you, you’d come up with a workaround or a solution.
So what’s the real reason you’re not doing?
Don’t hide behind catch all-terms like imposter syndrome or vague notions of being scared. Name it.
Scared of your ex-boyfriend seeing what you’re doing and laughing at you? Worried your parents will think you’re delusional and ungrateful? Your sense of self-worth is so tied to your success you’re scared of what failure might mean? Get it out, the ickier the better.
We all have something. All of us. It’s fine. But you can’t let it stop you.
If you’ve followed the rest of this series, I’ve given you a LOT of homework.
If you’ve done any or all of that work, you’re probably sitting on a list of things you really don’t want to do. Even if you haven’t done any of that work you probably have a list of work you don’t want to do.
Write that list and share it with someone. Either as a comment below (anonymous is fine), you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send it to a friend.
I’m giving you a deadline. Whatever date you’re reading this post, you need to have taken some kind of action on everything on that list one month from now. Put a reminder in your diary.
Good luck! Now, go, do.