I often get asked how it is that I create so much.
Firstly – I am (formerly was) the most disorganized person and the larger that my creative octopus has grown, the more I have realized that I have two internal enemies
Creative folk don’t like routine – we like to do whatever we want in the moment. Want to write a poem, want to paint a wall, want to do a mural, want to not be restricted. The list goes on and I picture a small me, paintbrush in one hand, a streak of blue down my nose, behind me is a mass of creations and mess. The belligerent angle of my chin says “don’t fence me in, don’t interrupt me and don’t bloody tell me what to do – I am creating”
Cue stamped foot!
That kid – got me nowhere – we had a lot of fun together but at the end of the day we created mess and chaos and ups and downs and mood swings. Elation one moment as the creative high struck and I was absorbed in a project and then boom – lightning rod is gone and I’m lying on my back burnt out and feeling like a failure.
It is no surprise (to me at least) that a lot of genius artists and creatives have mental problems like bipolar and depression. What a waste of talent and energy. Not to mention that much of that mental anguish can be avoided.
There are a great many internal hurdles to overcome on the creative path. Some of mine have been self-doubt, changing old belief systems, and the big one – solving my procrastination and disorganization. Consistency is as consistent does – there is no way to be consistent without application – day after day after day. Hour after hour. It may look boring and time-consuming at the beginning but once the habit and system is formed then it becomes much easier and hurrah! Flow arrives. Once you have flow – life is a downhill easy roll.
Just an update on exactly what I have on the roll at the moment: I run two blogs, three if you include my Patreon Account. Two Facebook pages. Two Instagram Accounts. A twitter account. Pinterest and Mix. I prepare and write a magazine every month and I write my books.
Nearly all of these platforms require content in order to provide consistent communication both to and fro (because communication is a conversation not an oration) with followers.
I have to admit it was getting beyond me and I was feeling overwhelmed at times. I don’t just have this creative life – I also have a business life. I hope that one day the two can come together but for the moment I still work for “the man”. The man is my husband and partner and our very busy building business. So, I would manage to do everything right for a week, sometimes a month, and then something would come up and the wheels would fall off.
Here is the secret with content that I have found. What you write has to be able to repurposed elsewhere.
For instance, my poetry is a daily thing, and at the end of every six months, I pick my favorites from the previous 6 months and load it into a book which I then sell on Amazon. You could say – why would people buy what they can read for free. Firstly, I agree except that I am a tactile person and I like to have my favorite poetry, recipes etc in a book where I can find what I want easily and take it with me. This is what books do.
Articles that I write (I haven’t done a lot yet) for Audacity blog will also be used here and there on Facebook posts and also snippets will be used in other places
Photos for Audacity become photos for Audacity’s other social media
Blog posts get shared to Pinterest and Mix which not only improves their SEO but also extends their range.
This repurposing comes naturally as I find that words are rarely wasted once you have a few different ways to use them.
Remember how I said I was feeling a little overwhelmed. This is how I now remain consistent, I use a workflow/content flow worksheet. I fill this out daily and ensure that it is all done over the course of the week. Sometimes I might write several poems at once so the week for this blog is then scheduled up with photos and I don’t have to worry about it again. If not, I always ensure I am at least a day ahead of myself (or that is the plan) so that gaps don’t appear in my posting.
Readers like consistency. So do stats and analytics.
Consistency is important because it is satisfying to be able to have effortless conversations on a daily basis and catch up with people who have in some instances, become virtual besties.
Also, I have found if you are on purpose and working hard on your own process and creativity then you have absolutely no time for self doubt and worry about silly things like “what do other people think of me?” It doesn’t matter what other people think and honestly, you really have no clue. Other people are an enigma that you don’t have to waste time worrying about – just do you and do it the best way that you know how to, that is all that we need to do in this life. That is our purpose.
This is how you will enjoy a happy, creative, fulfilling life with smooth consistency that doesn’t fluctuate either too high or swing to low. This, I swear, is the key to a productive and successful creative life.
A copy of the content planner I use is below. I made it in Canva by amending a teaching template. Yes, it was a little more trouble to go to and a notebook would work just fine. Creating is my life. Choosing to use beautiful, thoughtful templates that are custom made (and that are again created by me) honors the process. I handwrite my daily tasks and ideas because that works best for me. I hope someone finds it helpful to base your own off.