Never Stop Creating

My friend, August McLaughlin, asked a question on Facebook the other day. She wanted to to know what people were proud of. A thing we had accomplished that made us feel a real sense of accomplishment.  

I didn't have A Thing. Just a feeling...  

The same thing happens every time I'm on other side of making something happen. And it's the same thing that plays out in my head every single time... since I was a kid. 

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 My answer is abstract. But it's truth. And I don't think this truth is mine alone. 

Mom sureounded by creatives. Writers. Artists. As unique as we may be as individuals, there's something solid in the generalities attrituted to my crowd. We are confident in what we do. We are so full of doubt that we always end up questioning if we are good enough.  

It's the duality that fuels us. 

Right now, I'm trying to get my head back in the writing game. Until I do, I'm doodling. My art allows me to create when the words are stuck. My words do the same when the artistic steak has run dry.  

More duality. Which is probably a good thing.  

I created the image in this post on a blank journal for one of my writing coach clients. Just as I was finishing the digital edits on the imge for the Soneday when I manage to add it as a print on the Etsy shop, August's reply came through on my iPhone as a notification. That's when I realized the doodle I'd created - which I started right after replying to August's Facebook status - had been an extension of my reply to her question. 

This is what I wrote... 

I believed in myself. Once. And then twice. Every time I do something right, and take pride in what I accomplished, I slowly end up wondering how the hell I ever had the guts to do it to begin with. And I think I can never do it again.

And then one day, I do. 

#ScrewHumble

I've been told - and quite often, actually - that I suck at marketing myself. I don't deny or argue this fact. I'm a creative who is usually too busy focusing on the next thing to be done (blog post/book synopsis/art piece/essay/advice column) to focus on the business side of things. Which, if we are being totally honest, sucks big, giant balls.

Ginourmous ones, actually. 

I wrote this book once . #ScrewHumble

Here's the deal: You can be the best at whatever it is you do. You might even be fucking incredible at what you do. You gave it your all and are making those dreams you've harbored since your days of eating paste during show and tell in kindergarten. YOU SHOULD BE FUCKING PROUD OF YOU. Unless you're still eating paste. I'd wager it's fair to say that if you are still doing that, we've got a problem.

For those of you who kicked the habit in the first grade, it's time to talk turkey. Even if you and your tiny little slice of the internet are proud of you and your awesomeness, you aren't going to be climbing any higher than where you currently stand if only you and your tiny little slice of the internet are aware of your very existence. On the flipside, maybe you're slightly obnoxious and entirely lovable in 140 and twitter/facebook/instagram/pinterest/your blog/tumblr/snapchat/vine/youtube/periscope/blab is totally your bitch, we need to verify that twitter/facebook/instagram/youtube/pinterest/your blog/tumblr/snapchat/vine/periscope/blab is actually aware that your particular platform of choice is in fact, your bitch.

THIS LADY thinks that book I wrote is awesome.  You should buy hers . Right now. 

THIS LADY thinks that book I wrote is awesome. You should buy hers. Right now. 

What do I mean by that? Sharing yourself and your talents with your fans and audiences is a good thing. You build a following that way and this is a good thing. But, if like me, your goals include things like All the Book Deals and Podcasts That Not Only My Mother Listens To and Best-Selling Books and Legions of Fans Everywhere, you need to reassess how it is that you present yourself online. I'm not talking about covering your tattoos here for the dayjob. What I am referring to is everything that I happen to suck at; namely, showcasing your street cred when there is most defintely street cred to be showcased.

Read that last sentence again because yes, I'm talking about me, too, here, and yes, that probably sounded a little pompous. Wherein lies one of the biggest reasons so many of us are busting our asses for little recognition when those already following our journeys are left to wonder when the universe is going to wise up and give us that big break we totally deserve -- we don't want to sound like assholes who are stuck on ourselves but we don't know how to find the right balance of pride and humbleness that is going to feel right and get the job done. That's where I lose interrest in the whole thing and say screw it, throw my hands up in the air (because I truthfully do not care most days), and distract myself from sucking at self-promo with a sharpie, a new ceramic tile, and a sassy #Chingonafest quote that probably would fall apart if I took the F-bomb out. 

See what I mean? 

See what I mean? 

I've had this conversation with a number of respected colleagues recently and every single time it happens it's because of a new project or promo requiring a long bio and stats for vetting purposes. If I've reached this point in a convo with another party, it's usually because they already know something about me and it was enough to get them to ask for more details. This, my friends, is when the conversation comes to a screeching hault because the street cred currently impressing the other party is - and this is important, people - SHIT THEY SHOULD HAVE ALREADY KNOWN. Turns out, I'm totally awesome but I'm awesome INSIDE MY HEAD and pretty much only inside my head. I'm not shy by any stretch of the imagination, but I've had Don't Show Off beat into my head since I was old enough to realize being the oldest meant new shoes and hand-me-downs made my little sisters hate me.

I'm not going to pretend to have suddenly become an expert at self-promo because I am not now and probably never will be. What I do know is this:

Being humble is killing the potential, people.

We need to stop standing in our own way.

After the Evolve or Die panel at Be Blogalicious with fellow speaker, Karen Walrond. Yes, I fan-girled. No, I am not ashamed. 

After the Evolve or Die panel at Be Blogalicious with fellow speaker, Karen Walrond. Yes, I fan-girled. No, I am not ashamed. 

So, I challenge you to celebrate you and all that makes you fabulous: in your online bios and media kits and blog posts and facebook statuses. Tell your husband that your ass looks fabulous in those jeans you just bought because asking him if they make your butt look big is doing nothing for your self-esteem and everything to make sure you continue to leave the acknowledgement of your worth up to someone else. See where I'm going with this? No? Lemme show you:

Things I should have tattooed to my forehead (Read: #ScrewHumble)

And just wait until I get my shit together and itemize this list into individual tweets and social shares. I'm just getting started. I've got a lot to learn, and I may never have this marketing thing entirely right, but I'm doing okay, I think. Now? It's your turn.

What's on your #ScrewHumble list?