Cutting out what’s not working

Cutting out what’s not working
Photo by Ujesh Krishnan

We need to cut out what is draining our energy, to make space for something new.

What I am learning, over the years, is that I can’t do it all. In fact, I can barely do one thing right. And that’s OK. I used to think of it as a fault of mine, that I was always into something new and shiny, never able to complete the first thing I set off to do.

I have a tendency to try to run before I can walk and an even bigger tendency to try to stifle my own creativity. How do I do it? It’s that familiar experience many of us share where we want to create something that brings joy to us — art, sculpture, dance, writing, music, whatever you name it. We have this desire in us, but we don’t even start? Why? Because we think it will fail, will be rubbish, will be judged, etc? Or we think there is no point because we can’t do anything with it?

What about just making it for the sheer pleasure and enjoyment?

Whatever happened to making something because we want to? We don’t need to share it on socials if we don’t want to, we don’t need to try to monetise it (sure fire way to kill the spark!)

And that is exactly what I was trying to do with my website and mailing list (note: not this one). I wasn’t creating for the pleasure and enjoyment, I was creating because I wanted applause.

I wanted external validation.

And that is exactly the reason that this mailing list barely grew and how I barely produced any writing worth paying for. I stifled my own creativity the moment I stopped writing for my own enjoyment and wanted to write for memberships instead.

For a long time I felt low, disappointed, uninspired, unworthy. I wondered what was wrong with me. Why didn’t anyone sign up? Why didn’t anyone on the mailing list take action? Why wasn’t I getting anyone paying for my services?