Create Like a Kid

15 Jun

One of the most beautiful aspects of Vacation Bible School is an abundance of opportunities to create something. Aidan has spent much of the last 3 mornings in that creative mode, bringing home items such as a beaded necklace, a piece of leather with imprints of various images and a plate with colorful stones placed in the shape of a cross. All little masterpieces!

Like most kids, she simply wants the people in her life to view her work. That’s it! She doesn’t spend hours trying to market it to the masses. She doesn’t post pics of it on Facebook, hoping for “likes” and positive comments. She doesn’t tweet about the experience either.  She gets feedback from mom, dad and friends and that suits her just fine.

I can learn a lesson or 2 from her creative experiences. Once they’re done, she feels proud of herself and moves on to something else. Unlike her, I spent a great deal of time trying to market my projects. In fact, I think I spend more time trying to market and promote than I do engaged in the actual creative process of acting or writing.

I realize the importance of marketing.  It’s not something I can quit cold turkey. But an 80/2o ratio might be the solution: create 80 percent of the time and market the other 20 percent—just like Aidan does.

Based on a week of five 10-hour workdays, I would limit myself to only 10 hours per week for marketing purposes.  That would allow me to create for 40 solid hours a week. Of course, I can always set a higher goal eventually, but the key part of the strategy is limiting the hours of marketing efforts so I am not burning myself by trying to constantly share what I’m doing (or trying to do) with unsatisfactory results.

That’s really the bottom line: marketing without strong results tends to feel like an exhausting endeavor. When the goal is clear simple, like getting mom or dad to say how much they like a child’s painting, the threat of marketing burnout is lessened dramatically. So it’s back to basics for me, with daily inspiration from Aidan. I will create with passion, enjoy the creative process, and market only when I have something ready and worth sharing. Reducing that marketing time will also give me back hours to do more of what I really enjoy: spending time with my daughter.

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