Since I finished writing my manuscript, “Creativity Connection Conundrum” in January 2019, I’ve been struggling with reformatting, rewriting, reprinting, marketing and re-marketing this book. It has since struck me that the process of Creativity and the process of marketing are very much alike.
According to the Chinese proverb, “Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it,” Creativity warrants risk. This is expressed by many innovators, including Mark Twain, Pablo Picasso, and Steve Jobs. In deciding which road to take for marketing my self-help book, I’ve learned that while the writing itself took a good deal of risk (waking up at 5 a.m. to get 500 words in before I started my day job, gambling my sleep on this masterpiece-in-the-making), marketing too, requires some risk. One must dive into unsafe arenas, spending time, money and resources garnering a following, advertising and most vulnerably, pushing one’s original ideas. I’ve written a book all about Creativity, the powerful drive that lives within us, and our innate need to express it.
Each of us possess a Creative expression, whether it is cooking, drawing, singing, sculpting, conversing, problem-solving, writing or film-making, to name a few. I mistakenly thought that the research and writing for my book took all of my Creative energy but now that the piece is done, I’m forced to drum up even more energy to Creatively market my project. It feels a lot like the process of writing the book—it requires the same hard work, determination and belief. The hope and courage that is necessary to show up every day at the blank computer screen mimics the hope and courage necessary to post on social media, upload advertisements and send out queries. The risk is also similar in that I can’t allow negative self-talk and fear to stop me from moving forward.
The risks we take when we step outside our norm to express our Creativity feel scary. Many of us must stave off immense fear before we undertake a songwriting class or sing at a Karaoke bar. The desire to overcome our fear brings us into a relationship with our deeper self, which albeit internal, actually drives the external. Either we are driven by love or driven by fear. Someone once said that “All cats love fish but fear to wet their paws.” This reminds me of the process we must endure for any Creative work, and now post-execution, Creative reception—marketing! Marketing takes as much determination and positive self-talk as the Creation of the work itself.
To me, the most fascinating component belonging to the Creative process is the magic that appears from nowhere that ultimately serves to propel the work itself. When immersed in the moment, connecting with our work (whether it is singing, cooking or sculpting) we connect to something larger than ourselves. We feel the import of our work without question. This connection is inexplicable. Many Creative folks describe this “magic” as being a conduit for God Himself, God Herself, some universal higher power that dictates what we do and how we do it. It feels divine. I can’t say that marketing feels anything like this, but, I can correlate the relationship between me and my audience with the feeling of connecting to something beyond myself. This correlation can even be immediate, as we post our stories on Instagram, or upload our work to YouTube. It all starts with our connection with our work, which then connects us to some higher greater dynamism, then trickles out to impact others.
When we allow fear to dictate our steps, inhibiting us from interacting with Creativity and ultimately preventing us from sharing our work through marketing, we are short-circuiting the force of Creativity. The word ART means TO FIT and we are all just looking to fit into the greater whole. The cosmos is a giant, immense place that brings order to each of our individual Creations. If we start there, believing in our work, we will not allow fear to stop us from taking a risk. Creativity is for all of us, connecting us to our deeper selves and eventually connecting us to others. When choosing between the love of the fish and the fear of the wet paws, we must remind ourselves that until we dive into our Creative outlet, we will persist in our hunger and disconnection—the antithesis of the mission of Creativity.