For the past few years I have maintained a strict rule that I won’t get on any social channel until my daily blog is published.
My rule has served me well in terms of helping me stay focused on my work, but it also has kept me isolated. Because I try to keep some semblance of screen-time limits, it often means I don’t get online to participate in conversation (or even promote my work).
My three words for 2021 are Create, Collaborate, and Connect. To support this intention, I recently committed to show up daily in an private online community of creatives.
We adapt a practice of posting “dailies” in our community forum, and as others comment and reflect on what is shared by each person, threads start to weave together.
One person wrote that her daily posting was inspired by something another person wrote. This one’s drawing inspired another person’s essay; that person’s writing inspired this person’s photograph.
I’ve allowed myself some times to go to the community before I publish my daily blog post, to see what might inspire me; what can I weave into the conversation and what might inform and shape my work?
It’s a shift. It feels “wrong,” in the sense of “uncomfortable” and “unfamiliar” — like I’m playing before my homework is done. It feels a little like eating dessert first.
I’m breaking my own rule.
And … sometimes that’s exactly what we need.
I’m seeing how being in community shapes our individual works and weaves a tapestry. Each of us going out into the world to share our unique gifts in our unique voice, but each one shaped by the collective.
Showing up in this community nourishes my creative ideas, and also helps me refine them.
This is a different type of collaboration than I’m used to, and a welcome expansion of my concept of what collaboration can look like.
It’s like the planets and the stars. Each with their own role and voice, but always in conversation with each other, and it’s that conversation that creates the world we live in.