create what you wish to see
A couple of years ago, I was floundering in writing doldrums: even though I still loved writing and shooting, I didn't love what I was writing and shooting. Frustrated, I turned to my friend Erin, who is constantly churning out the most beautifully written essays on her site. And that day, she gave me the simplest, easiest, yet most profound advice:
"Write the content you wish you saw other people creating."
I felt silly when she said it, because of course that's what I should do.
So for the next week or so, I thought about what was important to me. I looked around the internet, and noticed where there was a lot of chatter ... and where there wasn't any. And I particularly noticed that women my age weren't talking about how awesome it was to be our age. And so, I decided to create the Thrive Portrait Project, and then eventually, Make Light. As I created both of these things, I learned so much, because the process required me to connect with people, and elicit their stories. It required me to learn, and to expand. And as a result, I am cognizant of my own evolution.
Erin's advice, it turns out, was really good advice.
Now that I've upgraded the site as much as I have, I'm turning to this advice again, even more in earnest -- because I think there's so much more to be created on the concept of thriving. And besides, there's something to be said about writing (and shooting) what you're passionate about, what you want to see more of, even what you're grappling with. The process allows you to create content that is important to you, and with hope, it's important to others, as well. And in my experience, you end up creating field notes for your own evolution. So I'm thinking big and wild about what kind of content I wish I saw others creating.
To be honest, Erin's advice -- create what you wish you could see, in essence -- works not just for blogging, but for any sort of creative endeavour. In fact, Nobel Laureate writer Toni Morrison once said “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it” -- the literary version of Erin's words. And I think there's really something to this.
I mean, imagine: what if we all created the work we wished existed to inspire us?
Soundtrack: True colors, as performed by Justin Timberlake & Anna Kendrick