Oftentimes, many creatives and entrepreneurs believe that things have to be perfect in order to get started, but that is far from the truth.
Much of the time, I pause from planning and putting out content just to go back to some of my favorite social media influencers and YouTubers to watch many of their beginning videos and content to see where they began and where they are today. It’s interesting because over time, you see the progression of quality, thus leading to the quantity of their work.
This inspires me because as an artist and recovering perfectionist, I know firsthand how debilitating it is to have an idea but wait to put it out until it’s perfect, therefore stalling on the upload or release — or causing you to not put anything out at all. Even writing this article is a struggle to a certain extent because I’m striving for the right words and thoughts to come out.
So, in what ways can a content creator, writer or artist start imperfectly and allow for the process of creation to perfect their craft?
If you’re anything like me, you like to plan out how you will approach your project. I like to work with spreadsheets, mind-mapping tools, etc. This allows me to take the bigger picture that I see in my vision-casting mode and break it down into digestible pieces.
In writing, many of us know how to work from the PIE method (point, illustration, explanation). I’ve decided to remix it and apply it across the board of creation rather than focus solely on writing. The PIE method that I like to follow is plan, implement and end.
The planning process is where we can really get stuck because it can be a bit of a daunting task to figure out where to begin. Many creatives thrive from the intimidation of the blank page and take it on as a challenge, while others completely succumb to the paralyzing thought of putting something where there is a void.
Some creatives are OK with filming directly from their cell phone, while others need a complete camera crew with audio and visual aesthetics. Some feel completely comfortable winging it or “faking it” until they “make it,” while others need a tutorial, outline, action items, etc. Either way, planning is imperative to a successful end.
During this phase of the process, you may want to create SMART goals that are in alignment with your desired outcomes and conduct a SWOT analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses and everything in between. When you know where you’re going and your hoped-for end result, you can avoid potential distractions and roadblocks along your project path. It is also a good time to have the end in mind so that you know where you’re going.
Once you have a clear vision of the plans that you want to execute, it is time to put those plans into action. During the implementation phase, this is where the fun takes place because you’ve done all of the hard or more difficult things in the planning phase. The doing is the fun! As a writer, this is the sweet spot: It flows and your imagination can take you anywhere.
In the world of social media, as a digital creator, this is where you get followers, likes, subscribers and shares. Folks are taking notice of the work that you’re putting into your craft and you build consistency here.
In this phase, it is possible to hit a roadblock or burnout. The key here is pace. Pace yourself to prevent these hindrances from impacting your creative flow.
During the ending phase of this process, it is important to remember the who, what, when, where and why. Who are you doing this for? Is it yourself, your family or your community? What can you do to keep focused, passionate and committed to reaching your desired goals? When are you planning to be completely finished with that project, painting or book? Why did you begin in the first place?
When you know the answers to the questions that you’ve asked yourself, it helps you to stay on the path that you’ve forged for yourself. All in all, just start. Perfection comes through the process of creation. The process is what refines the vision, and once you come to the end, there will always be something that you can start up again. So have fun starting and enjoy the entire process.