Ship the Creative Work - Day 21 of the 30 Days of Thankfulness
Three weeks. That’s how long I’ve been down this daily blogging road. There is a rhythm for the first time since beginning this blog back in November 2020. While I don’t know if publishing to my blog on a daily basis is a sustainable daily practice for me in the long run, there is really something powerful about shipping creative work.
When I started writing three years ago, I was working on a bigger writing project for the first time in my life. I had no idea what I was doing. People that were close to me gave me helpful tips for how to do the work of writing. Other people connected me to professional writers who also gave me advice. In the end, it was up to me to actually do the work.
One of the most valuable pieces of advice I received was from my sister-in-law. She essentially encouraged me to invest time each day writing without worrying about others seeing it. I liked that advice and followed the advice, but then, I ran into the problem that I was only writing for myself. Daily writing was great when I was still sharing at least some of what I wrote with my blog, but then I hit a dry spell where I quit sharing on the blog, and then stopped the practice of daily writing.
There’s a balance between the two. It’s important to write in order to become a better writer but in order for me to build in the disciple and repetition of showing up each day to write. One of my coworkers is a huge fan of Seth Godin. She shared with me a blog post of his helping me to ship the work. It all boils down to this - in the creative space, it is imperative to ship the work. If you’re interested here are two interviews with Godin about this process (4 minutes, 43 minutes) along with his Ship It Journal pdf.
It was the Godin interviews that led me to the 30 Days of Thankfulness. There is power in being thankful and I often find myself thankful for even some of the smaller parts of life, so the subject matter fit for me. At the same time, the challenge to produce a product every single day for 30 days was both a lofty goal but not completely unobtainable. As Godin says, being creative takes work - and I’ve been learning that quite a bit over the last three weeks.
Godin’s Shipping Creative Work idea leads me back to my sister-in-law. She’s a rising singer-songwriter (and certainly worth a follow everywhere online - you can start with her website, Spotify, or Instagram account). She suggested that I write daily, and that’s what she’s done as well. And then she is shipping the work - she’s putting out new songs on a regular basis, playing in shows, creating videos, and conducting interviews. All of those things have come from her willingness to show up and hone her craft and then send what she’s done out into the world for the public to be changed by her talents.
That’s exactly where I want to be. I have a story to tell and the story has the potential to change lives - not because of how good of a writer I am or I become, not because of how engaging of a speaker I become, or anything else like that. The story I have to tell is more than the circumstances surrounding Anders’s death, but instead, is all how in the worst times of my life, there has been peace in those moments, peace that is real and lasting.
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:5-6
But in order to develop as a creative, I need to ship the work. That’s why I’ve been so thankful for the 30 Days of Thankfulness as a whole - not only am I looking at my life and generally becoming more thankful for even the littlest parts of my day but I’m also developing my skills as a writer.
Maybe this is hitting home for you as well. Maybe you’re a creator (whether it is videos, music, writing, or any other creative endeavor) that have a hobby of being creative but you’ve dreamed of doing more. Do it! Ship the work!
Maybe you’ve always wanted to start a food blog or a TikTok account - go for it! We are designed to be creative and we all have different gifts that allow us different levels of creativity. There is no better time to share your gift than right now.
If you want to know anything from my journey, reach out and ask. I have lots of really good ideas of actions to not take, and a few ideas of steps that work well for me. You have a story to tell, whether it is through words, images, sounds, or something you build. Share it with the world! Someone needs to hear it.
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Previous 30 Days of Thankfulness posts