Last year I discovered a new thing: BinderCon. It’s a conference for women and gender non-conforming writers that works hard to include a diversity of experiences on both sides of the podium. It seemed like a platform tailor made for someone like me. At the end of the year I took the plunge and applied for a scholarship to attend the LA BinderCon in March – and I was accepted!
After the initial thrill wore off I realized that I would have to walk into that conference with some level of confidence in my abilities as a writer and entrepreneur. The scholarship committee believes in me. My spouse believes in me. People in my life have been believing in my writing ability since I was in grade school and wrote my first stories and poems.
In October I “lost” my day job. I made a decision then to start looking for freelance work – to create a life of art with businesses designed to capitalize on that art and generate income in some form or another. Three months, one major surgery (spouse’s shoulder), and a descent into deep depression later and what do I have to show for that decision?
- An acceptance email to the conference
- A lead for ghostwriting ebooks and blogs
- This new website
Looking back at the past few months, I don’t have income. I don’t have any signed freelance contracts. I don’t have a lot of things. I have, however, reached a commitment with myself that I didn’t have when I made that initial decision.
Goals, dreams, plans, resolutions and the like all require a level of discipline, focus, and, some say, will power, in order to achieve them. With goals and dreams, luck and talent may play a role as well. Someone who is lucky might stumble into opportunities that people with discipline will miss. With enough inherent talent (artistic, academic, physical, etc.) it may require less effort for to achieve resolutions and goals.
If the pursuit is something that will require discipline, diligence, and, yes, will power, then commitment is imperative. Without it, it will be so much harder to persevere with the effort needed to reach the pot of gold.
Whether you’re seeking something that is an end to itself, like getting a book published, or a habit that you want to incorporate into your life, such as making healthy choices about food and exercise, you must be willing to commit to the path – to know that this is something that has priority over immediate gratification and short-term rewards. A married couple will tackle problems that would be deal breakers if they were just dating. That is commitment – and you need to have it if you want to succeed in your endeavors.
I’m not sure what changed or evolved in the past few months that made me switch from having a plan to change my life to being committed to building a freelance, entrepreneurial career. There have been times in my life where a flash of inspiration was enough to make me to commit fully to a project or path that wasn’t even on my radar. Other times I had to sit with an idea for a while, sometimes years, before reaching some undefined level of readiness that allowed me to spring into action. During that interim I may have done research into the idea or played around with lists of pros and cons. I might have spent the time learning new skills or delving into my own psyche to uproot old fears and excise doubts. In some rare cases I had to wait for financial opportunities to align, but usually if I was committed to something, I would make the money happen.
Why should you give a damn about my commitment to my career path? Why should it matter to you that I am moving forward with plans for writing, consulting, and coaching? Maybe it doesn’t. However, I’m betting that if you found your way to this site, to this blog, you have your own creative or business dreams and you are seeking your own moment of inspiration to jolt you into action. Or, perhaps, you need to build new skills to help you persevere in your pursuits, ways to get past creative blocks, ideas for working your way through your personal “interim” between having an idea and committing to it full force.
This blog may be the place for you.
While I am just starting this project in February 2016, I have been blogging since before the word was coined. Seriously, I was hand-coding what could only be called “blog posts” back in the late 1990s. Over the years I’ve had a series of websites and blogs on different platforms and servers. I’ve pulled a few inspirational quotes from an art blog I used to maintain and you’ll find them here – with the original dates – in the archive for this blog. I also plan to curate other old posts and articles I’ve written around the web that have to do with creativity as well as how to create content and maybe even some stuff about social media for small businesses.
In addition to that past content, I intend to create new content on a regular basis for you to consume, absorb, and even question. Looking for a writing or art prompt? I’ll post one every Monday. Looking for tips and tools that you can apply to your creative process? Want to see more posts like this one, that describe my creative and professional process and experience? How about links to things I find inspiring or educational? That will all be regular fodder for this blog.
Lastly, I am putting together a newsletter that will include more tips and inspiration, some practical, some designed to appeal to your emotions and get you motivated. I should have a link available soon for you to subscribe – and you’ll get a free checklist for creative action if you do.
In the meantime, check back here for new posts or follow me on social media (Twitter & Facebook for now) to get notifications when a new post is live.