I’ll be the first to admit I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Take this blog for example. I had an idea I wanted to share. So I created the blog, came up with my first post, and then sat there, paralyzed by fear. My first post got some good reactions but what if the next one didn’t? What if people think this is dumb? What if people don’t understand what I’m trying to say? What if it isn’t… perfect?
I let the fear of imperfection keep me from my goal of helping others. Which is really selfish on my part. And who’s to say what’s perfect anyways? In preparation for my last craft sale I created a canvas that I just wasn’t happy with. It was too dark, the placement of a couple elements wasn’t exactly right, and the lettering just wasn’t coming out how I planned. I wasn’t going to take it to the sale but threw it in at the last minute. As it so happened, my sister helped me with the sale set-up and convinced me to include my “imperfect” piece in the display. I’m sure none of you are going to be surprised when I tell you that it was the first piece to sell that day!
Starting a new creative adventure can be scary. There’s so many reasons to delay – what if it doesn’t turn out like I planned? What if I make a mistake and waste my expensive new materials? I don’t even know where to begin! Take a deep breath and realize there’s a way past all these fears.
What if is doesn’t turn out like I planned? I hate to tell you, but for the first little while, it probably won’t turn out like you planned. But that’s okay. Every creative moment is an opportunity to learn and grow. And just like life, sometimes the unplanned is far more interesting than anything you could’ve imagined.
What if I make a mistake and waste my expensive new materials? So don’t. I know it’s exciting to buy all the latest products and do-dads when starting a new creative adventure but what good are they if you’re too scared to use them? Cut a piece of cardboard from a cereal box, buy some cheap craft paint and let your inner Van Gogh go wild! Unravel that hideous sweater from Aunt Frieda that hangs in the back of your closet and practice your single and double crochets to your heart’s content. Skip the gourmet food section. Grab some Campbell’s soup and make the recipe on the back of the can. Creativity never has to be expensive unless you want it to. Build up your confidence first and then bring out the good stuff!
I don’t even know where to begin! Unless some kind soul has printed this blog out for you, I assume that you’re computer savvy and know how to “google”. There are thousands of how-to articles, videos and tutorials out there on anything you can think of (and a few you’d never think of!) Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are all great sources of inspiration. Don’t think that you should instinctively be able to come up with original projects when you first start out. Most people learn a new skill by imitating others and there’s nothing wrong with that. Once you’ve mastered the basics you’ll find yourself thinking, “but what if I did it this way?” And suddenly, your own style starts to emerge and you’ve got a million ideas for things you want to try.
Like Nike says, “Just do it”. Let me know in the comments what step you’re going to take today to start your creative journey.