Yep, it’s true. My problem?
Easy. I have always had creative envy.
I think I have always been jealous of anyone with artistic talent – designers, artists, photographers, musicians – the list goes on. When I was in grade school, I even remember seeing another girl’s handwriting and wishing mine was as pretty as hers. I loved the way she wrote her lowercase a’s and I started to copy her. So creative envy is not a new problem for me.
Fast forward to me in my early 30’s and not much has changed. A few years ago, I started reading a lot of blogs, mainly DIY and craft type blogs. Many of them were not only inspiring and helpful, but I also loved reading the posts because the writers were fantastic storytellers. I couldn’t get enough ideas and creative inspiration, but after awhile I made myself stop reading almost all of them.
Crazy, I know.
Why would I stop if I found them inspiring?
Because in addition to finding them inspiring, I was also jealous of them. I would read a post and think I could have done this.
Great – that’s awesome. I could have, but I didn’t. So I would get mad/annoyed. Then I would make all kinds of plans to start a blog. Perhaps even create one or two or three. But, then I didn’t do anything with it/them. I never took it any further.
My problem: I had some serious creative envy (not really a problem), and I didn’t do anything about it (the problem). After much research and reflection, I was able to pinpoint that I was not challenging myself creatively. This is not to say that all creativity and creative activities were gone from my life, but I needed more than what was currently there. For example, as a 7th grade history teacher, my job challenges me creatively each and everyday. However, that creativity does not serve me, it is for and about my students. I wanted to focus more on me.
I took some time to reflect and had a few realizations:
- I did want to start a blog/website.
- I did not want to start a craft/DIY blog. This one surprised me! I like – no LOVE – craft and DIY blogs, but I actually did not want one myself. The reason I was having so much trouble getting started with one was because I wasn’t as excited about it as I should be.
- The only way to get over my creative envy? Do something about it. It took me awhile to launch Greens & Blues Co. It was an idea formulating in my head (and in the countless emails I sent myself) for about two years before I launched my website in July 2015. In that time, it underwent many changes but all the while creativity + teaching were at the heart of it. A few of my previous ideas were:
- teaching adults technology in in person classes.
- opening a physical location that provided creative, maker type opportunities for adults and children
- launching a DIY/craft type blog
- I can’t remember the rest….
My solution: I will probably always have some kind of creative envy – that just means I am inspired by others – but seeing others do awesome and inspiring work will no longer make me feel bad about myself, because I have pushed myself to try something new.
So my solution was to “do something about it.” I registered the domain www.greensandblues.co, set it up and started my website/blog. I got to work developing content, building relationships, and creating courses.
Whether or not Greens & Blues Co. is successful is not the point (obviously I would much rather have it be successful though). Since I have been working on this, I have learned so many new things (how to set-up a website), have fed my curiosities (the amount of books I have read on creativity is kind of gross), have pushed myself to take risks (put myself out there in a way that feels more like me than anything else I have done – scary stuff), and have been taking time to congratulate myself, even for minor accomplishments (figuring out html and css to make something look “just right”).
Where will this take me? I honestly have no idea. But, I’m more fulfilled and definitely happier for having realized this and then done something about it.
Pinpoint your problem. What’s holding you back creatively?
Is it confidence?
Not sure you are creative?
You don’t know where to start?
Figure out what your problem is. That’s the first step.
Then, flip your problem. You can read more here about the process of flipping your problem into an opportunity.