More of my musings and ponderings of how to bring a small community of creative women together to support one another.
Be unique…we hear that all the time.
“There is only one you.”
“No one else brings to the party what you bring.”
We have all heard these phrases.
Last week a friend left this cute statement on my Facebook wall. I thought it was adorable – and really true.
How many times do we buy in to the negative talk in our head that says “you really aren’t anything special” or “that girl over there is better than you are”?
We all do it – more than we should. And why?
We are made to be amazing, capable and strong women. We are those women. If we would only believe just a few of the good things that people tell us about ourselves…well, the results would be earth-shattering and life altering for us and those in our lives.
I can only speak for myself when I run through the things that I listen to inside the walls of my brain! However, I can assume that they are similar to the things going around other women’s heads…especially creative types.
It took me a long, long time to finally take the plunge into the world where my creative side meets the side the wants to make money. I often wonder if things hadn’t gotten so bad in the office world, would I still be dragging my feet. The biggest lie that kept me dragging my feet is “there are enough people out there already doing what you want to do. You have nothing new to bring to the field and really, you aren’t that good so you should just save yourself the time and trouble.”
There are moments every week till that I hear those words, or ones similar, in my head. But here is something that I have started to embrace: I actually DO bring something unique to the game. I approach each of my projects in a way that only I can…no one else will have the same creative thought that I have. Even if they try to copy me…it will still be different because we all see things differently.
When I was considering photography as a career, or money making jobby (get it…job/hobby combo!), I heard and read horrible things from other female photographers in the region complaining about those ‘newbies’ and how they were ruining the business for everyone else. It was so defeating and depressing that I actually put my camera down. I mean, how can you even try to compete if these horrid things are said? Again, as I mentioned a few weeks ago – women are horrible and notorious at tearing each other apart…even under the guise of “constructive criticism”. The part we miss is that, constructive criticism is, by its very definition, constructive – it builds up – it doesn’t tear down.
So, how do you lift up the women in your world? The other creative you may have contact with, how do you support them…and are you sincere with your words? What do you say? What do you do to make certain they really hear what it is you have said to them?
I feel as though, when we truly lift up and encourage one another without any selfish motives – just the simple motive to help someone else move forward in their dreams – we actually gain more than we would ever dream. By lifting others, we lift ourselves.
So, after 3 weeks (really more…but I’ve been posting these musings for 3 weeks now) of posting and thinking and posting and wondering, I have finally started a rough map of what my dream is with the women in my community who are creative souls working towards earning a living doing what they love to do – nurturing their creative souls. How to bring these creative women who roar together to support one another, to brain storm with each other, to express our fears and concerns and joys and rants without getting stuck in the fear that someone will judge us or tear us down for feeling or saying what we do.
I envision photographers specializing in different genres, calligraphers, sign makers, print artists, quilters, stylists (of people and events) and creators of all things Etsy coming together once a month, or once every 6 weeks, to enjoy each other’s company and hear the wonderful things that have come to fruition, or that are being birthed, in each of our businesses. Maybe bringing in speakers or coaches to process through these things with us and help us to move forward in a general way – either in person or via Skype. Over all, to promote each other as sisters in the creative world…sot promotes as in advertising – but promote as in growing and becoming what we dream of. (I can even see one of these gatherings at a local vineyard!).
That being said, the only way to get this thing going is to just jump in and get it organized. So…are you a creative working towards, or already in, your creative business? Would you be interested in being in a supportive network of local women in the creative arena? Send me an email me (email@example.com) and let me know you are interested and I will start putting together the details. It might just start out with 3 or 4 of us having coffee and getting to know one another initially, but at least we will be on our way.
I will still be musing on this subject…especially as I move forward in business with Snigglefritz & Me. I hope there will be others who will join me on this journey as we adventure together!