I have been thinking a lot lately about the middle part of things. That juicy middle bit. The place between forming an idea for something and the final result of the creation/moving forward of said idea. The middle part where everything actually happens. Sometimes the boring place. And always the necessary place.
I am currently sitting in that juicy middle bit and if I am honest, it’s not very motivated right now and I feel a little stagnate. I have been working on my Birds Oracle Deck and while I wait for my incredible illustrator to send me more final drawings, I feel like I am at a pause. A standstill. As though I cannot move forward without the artwork. But truthfully, there is much to be done and I am simply lacking the motivation to do so and am looking for any excuse to justify my non-actions. So I look for distractions – the sink of dirty dishes, reading the news, crushing a little Candy. Anything to avoid doing the work.
When creating something, like an oracle deck or writing a book or deciding to become a photographer or really opening any business, there is so much more work required than you will ever realise until you are in it. Yes, you may have an incredible idea to create something and you may also possess the beautiful talent in order to create that idea to then share with the world so that you can become successful and go buy an island wherever it is that islands are still for sale. (Run-on sentence FTW!)
Recently someone posted in a photography forum that I am a member of that he was feeling really frustrated with his photography business. That he had bought all of the right gear – and I mean, all of it – and that he had a decent portfolio but (
whine whine whine) no one was hiring him. He felt that this was unbelievable because he had all of the right things. He had a vision, he was now a photographer. He told himself so. He likely saw himself tromping all over the world photographing beautiful women. But what he had forgotten, was that he had to do the actual work to get there. It isn’t about your gear or a few nice images. It’s about all of that middle stuff that needs to be done. It’s about getting your name out in your community, building a following and reputation and it’s about constantly creating new images and learning from each and every one of them. I set this guy a little straight on this and my reply got a few likes so I know that I wasn’t alone in feeling this way. I didn’t feel sorry for this person. Success doesn’t just fall into your lap. You have to work for it. Work hard for it and put in the time for it. That is the juicy middle bit.
There is more to it than just creating that thing or becoming that person or opening that business. There is that juicy middle bit of boring things like registering your business or doing any other required legal things. There’s doing the boring computer work like book layouts (hi! I’m there now!). There is reading books and practising and learning all that you can learn about what it is that you are embarking on. There is making plans and timelines and following through on every detail. Envisioning what could go wrong and preparing for that. Envisioning what could go right and also, preparing for that.
And then there is the whole: how do I get my thing out there to the world? You can envision the success. I can see my deck in the hands of people. But how will it get into their hands? How is it that they will know about li’l ol’ me and this li’l deck that I have created? Marketing that magic is such a huge part of doing anything these days. It’s crucial if you want to make or break it. And it is something that is so often overlooked and undervalued. Having 10K+ followers on Instagram isn’t enough. That doesn’t mean that you have made it. Having 10K+ followers on Instagram buying your stuff and talking about it, that may be.
What I know is that you need to get comfortable with talking yourself up. Not in a braggy or egotistical way. But in a way that says: I am confident in my skills and what I am doing and I know that the world needs this. You then need to hustle, hustle, hustle. The hustle never stops. There is no time for it to. Not until you are out of that juicy middle bit and are sipping piña coladas on that island of yours.
I am learning to enjoy this juicy middle bit because I am realising it’s importance. I can see the final deck in my hands (and in yours too!). I am holding that vision high and until then, I’m putting my head down and working hard to get to that point. And on days like yesterday when my motivation is low, oh so low, I am going to give myself some time away from the work to create something different (like a little macramé hanging that I created! Fun!).