Last year some things in my creative process shifted, and it completely updated my flow.
Without even trying, I took a project management approach to creativity. With managing an agency and creative directing so many projects, I have learned that projects flow the best when there’s a clear distinction of phases. When working with large teams, it’s imperative to know when one task ends and another begins.
When applying the same approach to my creativity, I realized that my marketing brain would start activating prior to me actually developing the idea! In real-time, this looked like me saying, “I can put this link in here if I say this,” or “I can put this on TikTok if I film it like that,” prior to me even writing down the idea! Baby…I was just backwards!
Now, I do my best to draw a hard line in the sand between ideation, creation, and marketing. In other words, I create first and market second. If you’re caught up like I was – I got you. Check out these tips below:
Create without boundaries.
Maybe you have not written poetry since you were in high school, but you have a desire to do it now…go do it. Maybe people come to your Instagram for a certain type of content, but you feel led to share how well a new recipe turned out and the joy the food brought you and your loved ones. Try it. Give yourself permission to be bad at it. The goal of this phase is just to CREATE.
Edit, mix, master, and outsource.
I have two very dear friends who are twins, and they always say, “You can’t be the rat, the cheese, the trap, and the smell.” Listen to the twins! You don’t need to produce it all. Feel free to direct and delegate. Sometimes you may want to get someone else to do it, and you can literally make it happen. Delegate and pay someone else to assist when you can. If you do have to edit your own work – do your best to detach from it and edit it like your life depends on it. Be ruthless and only keep what’s necessary. It’s not personal. The goal of this phase is to PRODUCE your very BEST work.
You really can’t control how people engage with what you produce. Focus on what you can control and not what you can’t. I was able to divorce from the idea that people like, share, comment, and all of that – but it’s a constant effort to do so. Don’t get it twisted. There is a place for marketing (that’s what people pay me for!). It may mean you leave that to the experts and outsource, or you take the lead by using all available resources like running ads or doing collab posts. The goal of this phase is to IDENTIFY your audience and PLACE your creation in front of them.
If you’re a creator like me, remember you have one main job. It’s to create. Get the inspiration you need and fully express your creativity.