Hey y’all, how’s it going? Today I want to talk about creating for yourself and how I make sure that I continue to create for myself.
What does it mean to "create for yourself?"
Creating for yourself means that you're in charge of deciding the value of your work. You're not looking for likes. You're not looking for hits. You're not looking for affirmation or something from the outside telling you what you should think of your work.
How to Create For Yourself and Stop Looking for Approval from Other People
Share your work right away without tweaking anything.
Don't worry right away about the outcome of a photo. Again, I know it sounds cliché, but really enjoy the process and take pride in it. What I do is I take a photo, add it to a tweet, and post it right away without even thinking of post-processing. My thinking is that if I liked the photo enough to even think about making it look better, then I liked the photo enough to share it as it was.
Only look at your analytics once a month.
Or not at all? I'm not a big fan of keeping up with the numbers. One, I don't totally understand it all. Two, it takes away the value I place on my work.
Think about it this way. Say you put your heart and soul into something — a blog post, photo, artwork, whatever — and you get minimal hits. Do you love that work any less? If you do, you're not creating for yourself. You're looking for validation from someone else who might not even matter.
Turn off likes and/or comments on your blog (or Instagram).
Actually, today I decided to turn off likes and comments completely for this blog. I was finding that I was adding value to something I can't control. You see, I can't control how many likes I get or how many responses I have. The less I have to think about the response I'll receive, the more I can focus on just creating work that I like and is better than my last.
Post and work on your own platform more often than you would anywhere else.
Put more time into developing your own space than you do developing your social media presence. I know that this sounds backwards. Most people will tell you to keep your social media active to keep people's attention towards you. I disagree.
I think that the more you post on a platform that isn't yours, the less value you give to what you are creating for yourself. I'm still working on this because I'm, admittedly, addicted to social media but I try to keep my work first. I'm also trying to be better and more selective with the way I use social media.
Lastly, don't force yourself to make something amazing.
If you get the urge to do something, do it right away! Don't think about the outcome. If you think it's supposed to be amazing from the beginning, even before you start working on it, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Not everything turns out how you want it to. Again, cliché, but I believe in that. What I don't believe in is not creating at all and not knowing how something could have or would have turned out had I only done it when I wanted to.
Create for yourself always.