If you’re a creative or have a creative hobby, you no doubt have an incomplete project (or fourteen) that has been hidden away from the world for quite some time.
Whenever your friends and family check in with you, asking how it’s going, you tell them that it’s chugging along but that it still needs a bit of tweaking. This may be true or you may have left the project untouched for months, either way you can sense the lie when you tell them, ‘they’ll see it eventually.’ And you also feel resentful. Why are they being so pushy? Why are they snooping into your life? How dare they show interest in anything you do?! People are so rude! And then you fall into a shame spiral for a couple of weeks and decide to only hang out with your cat.
It’s at this point that I would like to give you three handy steps to make ensure you’re putting out your work regularly.
I would like to give you those handy steps, but they don’t exist. Sorry. There aren’t handy steps that feel as though your skipping past the hard part. What you have to do is spend the time whacking through the weeds. It sucks. Trust me, I know. You have to face all the voices in your head that scream that what you’re doing isn’t ready. Here’s a secret for you, it’ll never be ready. You have to give yourself a boundary and stick to it. It’s the only way.
It’s also hard because you’re worried that if you expose your creative baby to the light that it’ll shrivel up. You’ll get critical feedback and have to start from scratch. That won’t happen. I mean, it might happen if what you’ve done is total trash, but we both know that’s not the case.
You have to ask yourself the question, do you want to put yourself out there or do you never want to try? Answer honestly and then move on either way. I feel your pain. I’ve spent many nights tossing and turning, angry at myself for not producing enough. Keeping your creativity close to your chest has never made anyone happy.