Real artists ship.
Why I am writing this blog.
I am going to be honest with you, I am not entirely sure what I am doing with my career. And, while I am not at a complete loss, I am in the uncomfortable process of hashing things out. Not only that, I am at the beginning of the process. Which is arguably the worst place to be. In fact, it feels a lot like the times I was working as a beekeeper. When I first opened up a hive I would pray that one of the barbed-butt fuckers would just jab me already. The anticipation of pain is often far worse that the actual sting. I like to get that initial push over with as quickly as possible so that I can get down to the work that needs to be done.
This is my process.
As far as I can tell, my discomfort exists as a result of the many unknowns in what I am trying to do. For example, I have no clear idea about what I want my professional practice to look like or how I am going to make money doing the work I feel called to do. So I started this blog as a way to document my process as I figure my career out. On the one hand, I need a place to house all my thoughts, actions, reflections and resources. On the other hand, I see no reason why I shouldn’t share what I am working through with you. I get to be held accountable for staying in the process and you get to learn from my mistakes and success. Or you can just get a good laugh because who in their right mind talks openly about this sort of stuff?
Me. I do that. This. Whatever this is.
Jokes aside, I am hoping that by exposing myself fully as I do meaningful, financially abundant and location independent work as a writer and coach, that you receive something of value. This blog is my gift to you. I hope it allows us to connect over our mutual frustration and longing for access to work that offers us more. More possibility, more opportunities to be creative, more ways to connect to other humans, more chances to travel, more things to learn and more options when it comes to making money. To be clear, I do not think for a second that this wanting more makes us entitled Millennials. Among my peer group, we back our wanting with hard work. I will do a post in the coming weeks about the bad rap we get as Millennials but, for now, know that it is totally fair for us to want what we want.
Real artists ship.
I just finished reading Seth Godin’s book Linchpin and it has already become a sort of touchstone for me. If you have not yet had the privilege of devouring Seth’s wisdom, I’d get on that pronto. On the surface, Linchpin is about how to make yourself indispensable as a worker. Deeper than that exists a sort of manifesto for artists and creatives. Note: Seth uses the term ‘artist’ and ‘art’ loosely. He writes,
“Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does.”
Seth talks about art as a gift a lot in Linchpin. A gift that elevates humanity a little bit higher every time it is given. Your gift might be writing or it might be customer service. It really doesn’t matter as long as you are passionate about your art and you are getting it out there. Seth goes on to quote Steve Jobs who said,
“Real artists ship.”
(As an aside, I am considering getting this tattooed across my knuckles so I see it all day every day as I write. Sometimes mantras come from ancient texts and other times they come from everyday humans come billionaires who are just trying to figure shit out. She don’t judge.)
This is me shipping.
So. Real artists ship and this blog is me shipping. Now, I should probably tell you exactly what I am shipping. In the spirit of demystifying success, I am sharing my process as I build a career as a writer and coach. From backstories to budgets, I promise to hold nothing back. In fact, I should warn you that I really don’t hide things. I will use content warnings if I think something might be triggering or so you can just keep thinking of me as sweet and wholesome. I commit to posting at least one blog a week that will let you know where I am at, what I am reading and the struggles I am working through. Like I said at the beginning of this piece, I only have a loose idea of where I am headed. Which is okay. I once walked across half of New Zealand in a pilgrimage to clear my head and make sense of my seven years in academia. I am no stranger to the mess of tramping through unknown land.
My career thus far.
I recently—to use a phrase coined by Ken Wilber—”included and transcended” my current ‘career.’ Career is a somewhat ambiguous term within the context of my professional life. I have been a yoga teacher for almost nine years but have also dabbled in other occupations along the way. Beekeeper. Sailor. Marketer. Seamstress. Stripper. My colourful list of jobs has left me with some valuable insight and brilliant stories to share, however, I have not been holding myself accountable to my art. More than anything, I feel called to write and coach. I took up writing during a three-year stint of traveling and working abroad. It provided me with a consistent creative outlet that didn’t require all that much equipment. (I trained as a textile artist in university. Understandably, looms prove to be rather cumbersome travel companions.) As for coaching, I have always felt called to be of service to others. While I definitely have had my martyr moments—which were ironically unhelpful—I selfishly want people to be their best selves. Like Seth says, we all win when we are sharing our art.
Here you go. Read my blog. Share it with other humans. Ask me questions and give me more books to read. I am a real blood-and-bones being who genuinely loves connecting so let’s talk. If you are someone who knows what you are doing with your career, I will be so grateful for whatever wisdom you have to share. If, like me, you are still figuring shit out, you are more than welcome to come along for the voyage. Last I checked, we only get one shot at this life thing. As our careers have become a big part of how we spend our time, I think it’s worthwhile to make our professional work count. No one is going to hand us our dream career. We have to create it for ourselves. Now.
So let’s begin.
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This Seth Godin human knows some things. I have Tribes and All Marketers Are Liars all ready to go on my Kindle. I will report back soon with my thoughts.
Until those blog posts happen, here are Seth's TED Talks:
I also signed up for Seth's bestselling course on Udemy. It was on sale and I was curious. Stay tuned for how it goes.
Or sign up for it and do it with me: https://www.udemy.com/seth-godin-freelancer-course/
I started reading Simon Sinek's Start with Why this week. If you want a headstart on what the book is all about, you can check out Simon's TED Talk here: