In the alphabet of doing what you love… today’s post comes to you by the letters M, N and O
M is for Messy
Love and creativity… 2 of the most capricious creatures you will ever do business with. Take it from an introverted perfectionist control freak who would probably sell a small piece of her soul to alter this fact: there’s no way to predict or plan for the mess you’re guaranteed to make when you decide to bring stuff from your imagination into the world.
In exchange for opening your mind to the limitless possibilities of your dreams you agree to making lots of glorious, magnificent mess… maybe even some carpet collateral if your brand of creativity is a bit Jackson Pollock.
N is for Noodle Beast
Because my dog is a rescue, I inherited her name. But as long as there’s a chicken treat at the end of it, she’ll answer to anything I inexplicably find myself calling her… Moochington Pea… Madame Vice President… Noodle Beast.
The thing you love doesn’t care what label you put on it (entrepreneurship, writing, potato printing) as long as you show you care and spend quality time with it on a regular basis.
O is for ‘other people’
Since we’re over halfway through our alphabet tour of doing what you love, you may be considering publishing, exhibiting or showing your creation to the world in some way. This is a good time to remember that as soon as ‘other people’ see it, it doesn’t belong to you any more. Some will love it. Others will hate it, steal it, doodle weird stuff on it. It’s not cool but that’s part of the deal. They’re allowed to do that.
You’ll pretend this doesn’t bother you.
But the opposite of caring what people think isn’t pretending not to care. It’s owning the entire creative experience and saying, “I know that unhelpful criticism is the occupational hazard of an artiste (ha ha… I just called myself an artiste!). But I also know that critics sit in the cheap seats.”
Then you go full Brené Brown on their gremlin asses and get really clear with yourself on the distinction between people whose opinions matter to you and ‘other people’ (including your inner critic):
I carry a small piece of paper in my wallet that has written on it the names of people whose opinions of me matter […] I don’t think anyone has more than one or two people on that list.Brené Brown
When you reveal what you love, you sign up to respecting the opinions of the people on that list. And you say ‘yes’ to your work not being loved/noticed/approved of by ‘other people’. That’s called being a grown up.
But what you can say a ‘hell no!’ to is ‘other people’ misusing your work to judge you as a person. Criticism like that is as meaningful as a scary picture on a packet of cigarettes.
Create your boundary (the stuff you make and who you are are not the same thing), sign the contract and shake on it. Then get on with your work.
Shake and create!
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