Today I am opening up about my current journey into the world of online content creation; from my fumbles on Instagram to learning to navigate website building and developing blog content it has been an exhaustive process of embracing opportunities and my own creative voice.
This journey began almost two year ago now, and it had a different name, and purpose. I was starting to think about writing seriously, the potential to self publish my novels someday and the fact that I had absolutely zero reach in the online world. I began coming up with ways to form a readership, a platform to start building a following for my writing so that when I did finally write and publish a novel I’d have eyes on it. My incredible cousin @jessicamcquinstin had started a blog a year prior called Blog Along the Way, which gave me the seed of an idea to start my own blog.
But what to blog about?
Originally entitled Pages, Planks and Plies, my blog was going to rotate between my three passions in life and discuss life lessons that they all taught me and shared between them. And while this is a super niche intersection of people, I was determined to do something! Each night I wrote different life lessons or qualities that each had taught me and then extrapolated how each of those facets of my life taught me about that lesson or quality. This quickly spiraled out of control, which made me stop and think about what really connected these varying interests of mine, and the answer hit me like a ton of bricks.
Each facet had been a different way to insert creativity into my life - the real question was how did each of these interests allow me to experience, express and educate myself about creativity? Now I had a solid focus that wasn't fractured into tiny pieces. But where to go from here?
Creating Confidently was born out of the idea that creativity is a muscle we all have, and a skill we all utilize to varying degrees and for a wide range of purposes throughout our lives. My struggle had always been with the idea that art was creative and entrepreneurship was sensible; that dance was artistic and creative, but soccer was a sport. I believe that creativity is what lies at the heart of artistry and problem solving. This limiting belief surrounding what creativity can and should look like keeps many people from realizing their full creative potential and puts them down in many aspects of life. For years I didn’t believe I was creative because I valued technique more than artistry.
The more I allowed this idea to marinate in the back of my mind, the more sure I became that I had found the focus for my blog. But who was going to randomly start reading a stranger's posts about creativity when she wasn’t established, published, or a career creative? So I started small, on a platform I thought I knew how to use - Instagram. I wanted to highlight what creativity meant to me, my own creative journey and how others were creative in all different ways and to celebrate those differences in the collective creative world. I found out I had no idea how to make a reel. I stumbled through writing posts that were engaging and had a point to them, as well as a call to action buried at the end. I fumbled through my phone for relevant pictures before realizing I was going to have to get a lot better at taking photos very quickly, and asked all of my wonderful family and friends to help support me as I started branching into online content creation.
But the main point was still floating in the back of my mind; you need to get a readership started, you need to brand yourself in some kind of recognizable way. And so I began doodling on sticky notes at work to come up with a logo that I thought would suit me and my ‘mission’ with this Instagram page. Wix, being the only website host I was familiar with, happened to have a logo maker and I was able to almost exactly recreate my very poor sketch digitally. Now I had a presence online and a symbol to stand by. I couldn’t avoid it anymore, the website had to be made, blog posts outlined and scheduled.
Creating a website, from templates on a web host platform, was user friendly, but still tricky to navigate for someone who has no reference point for graphic design, web design, or online content creation. However, with some trial and error and opinion gathering from family, I finally made the website to launch my blog. And the launch day was a disaster. The site went down immediately, due to an apparent error in hosting something or other. But through this and many other similar experiences with this blog, I have lived the mission of Creating Confidently; to expand my own creative journey and be a living testament to the fact that creativity is not synonymous with artistry, but a critical part of the artistic process, as well as a practical life skill required in a myriad of human ventures.
Realizing a Dream
Because of this self propelled journey I have been able to realize a dream of mine that still has me grinning ear to ear; I am a paid professional writer, content creator, blogger. This is completely surreal to me, as I initially thought they were looking for volunteers to share knowledge and help generate content, which I was more than happy to do for the feedback and opportunity to get myself out there. You can find this singular moment here. This would not have been possible without the confidence gained from this journey, and I hope to continue down this winding road and see what opportunities I meet.