Do you ever question what you’re doing?
Do you ever wonder -
What exactly is it that makes your work unique?
What is it that people get from your work?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all of this.
I’ve been watching videos on marketing and branding, observing what people are doing in their business and artwork, and feeling immense pressure to fully define what it is that I’m doing and what my brand is.
(side note: I’ve been doing Creative Fridays for 2 and ½ years, and I’ve been coaching and dancing for much longer than that, and I still question what exactly it is that I’m doing and struggle with how to describe it. Bless you for still reading.)
It can be great to get more specific and “brand” yourself, but also a trap, especially for those of us who have multiple passions. You hear the advice all the time that says you should only be focusing on ONE thing if you really want to be successful. Problem is - If you wait until you’re clear on one thing, very often you’ll end up doing NOTHING for a very long while.
Here’s what I’m realizing -
If you want so badly to arrive at a specific place and define yourself in a specific way, you’ll bypass all the beauty that comes from the chaos in between.
We’re all works in progress. As artists and creative beings we are constantly reinventing ourselves. The moment that we reach a certain pinnacle, another desire starts to fuel us in a different direction. We move back downhill and seek out another mountain to climb.
It’s cyclical. It’s life.
And I’ve done enough working and talking with artists and humans to know that even the ones who seem the most put-together have a whole bunch of wild transitions going on internally.
So if you're feeling uncertain about what you're doing, I want to invite you to be where you are.
If you’re not so sure any more about your message, your image, your work, then allow yourself to be uncertain. The not-knowing can actually be a relief when you think about it - More time for contemplation and exploration… the searching can be just as fun as the times when you are working towards a specific goal.
This doesn’t mean that you have to stop working or creating.
In fact, it’s the opposite. Keep making stuff through the chaos until you create your way into the next moment of clarity. You may even discover that something very cool and very specific comes out along the way.
That, I believe, is how art is created.
Don’t be afraid to follow your deep impulse to make things or do things, even when you aren’t really sure where it’s taking you. What happens is that you’ll unexpectedly arrive at beautiful moments of clarity that take shape into something.
Don’t most inventions happen that way, too? Seemingly by accident. Truly by divine intervention.
When you do finally get to the point where something tangible comes out of your process -
When you finally publish your website, perform your song, or take part in a Showcase like we’re going to do tonight, for example - it’s important to honor it. Those moments of arrival should be celebrated, because somehow - despite the darkness, chaos, and practical odds against you - you allowed yourself to make something and you put it out there into the world. You created art.
So I’d love to hear from you, now -
Are you currently in a moment of uncertainty and questioning?
Or are you in a moment of clarity and arrival? Perhaps a mix of both?
What exactly are you questioning?
Share yourself in the comments below this post. The more we all talk about this stuff, the less we’ll feel alone and like we’re the only ones who don’t really know what we’re doing. Know what I mean?
Here’s to letting the questions lead you,
p.s. Tonight in Brooklyn the next Creative Fridays Showcase is about to take place. It’s such a beautiful example of celebrating the moments of arrival, while honoring the deep and circuitous process that leads you there.