I started this blog for a few different reasons. One of the biggest is my desire to figure out what gets in the way of you and me being the artists we secretly long to be.
I've been thinking lately about how one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that what we share with the world must be original if it is going to be of any value to anyone. After all, isn't creativity what defines the artist?
I took a break from writing for the past couple of months. My days were filled with finishing up our wedding photography season so that we could officially retire from weddings and move on to focusing our time and energy on portrait photography and our two new blogs (this one and Alicia's new blog Write You On My Heart). And despite what I've written in the past, I forgot that my job is that of connector, not originator.
It seemed like every idea I came up with for quite awhile was something I promptly found someone else had recently shared about authoritatively. I wasn't about to go and write about a subject that had just been covered so well by someone with a big name and audience. What if someone were to read what I wrote after reading what so-and-so had already shared much more clearly and eloquently? I wasn't about to let anyone think I was a copycat.
That wasn't the only thing that kept me from writing, but it was a major part of why I took such a long break. And the silly thing is, I was making it all about me.
To move from the mental position of originator, to the position of connector, means that you simply stop making your art about how you are seen. It means you start making your art about what others will see if you show it to them. It means you connect ideas together, then connect people with those ideas.
Maybe what you have to share with the world is similar to what others you follow are sharing. Don't let that stop you from sharing. Just because you know something doesn't mean the people you care about know it. There is a high likelihood that if you don't share it with them, nobody will.
Become a serial connector. Put ideas together in ways that delight you. Make something you enjoy. Put it out there for others to enjoy as well. Have fun with it.
You may find that, as you do this more and more, you gain momentum. And that energy may just bring up things nobody has ever heard of before. Things that feel kind of original.
Or maybe not. Either way, keep doing that thing you do. Keep connecting your people with the goodness you are always on the lookout for. And if you start to feel lost, look for some good connections to make.