Issue #023 | August 30, 2020  


This week: why do you create, smarter writing goals, beginners should teach, how not to be on your phone all the time + more.

Why'd You Do It?

Why'd you spend hours creating the thing you create? 

Is it for fun, personal fulfilment, creative expression?

Something else?

I've been mentoring my Godson. He's 12. And so so creative. He dreams of starting a t-shirt empire one day.

And so I ask him: "Why do you want to start a business"

"I want to make money" he says.

"Yeeeeaah, but why?" I enquire, digging for something a little deeper.

"Duh, so I can buy stuff."

heres to the crazy ones quote - not fitting in

(Yep, that. His mum also tells me there's a girl he's trying to woo).

I know, I know dude. The kid's 12. What else was I expecting him to say?

But that little exchange got me thinking about why we create (write, design, paint etc) in a world where it's easier to live the consumer life.

  • I mean, it's easier to plonk yourself down in front of the TV each night and binge watch yourself into oblivion. It's much harder to write scripts for the shows.
  • It's easier to chat 'ish' about celebrities on social media. It's way harder to put yourself through the levels of training and rejection they face.
  • It's easier to lose a day playing video games. It's harder to actually design, code and market them.
  • It's easier to mock or belittle someone's attempts at starting a blog. It's harder to get up off your butt and create one yourself.

So why do creators do it? And why do we keep going when we're not even sure whether our 'thing' will work out?

Here's why I do it: I create because I value growth. 

I love learning, and sharing what I'm learning with others. I figure it's a meaningful way to spend my time in this cold cruel world, so it fills my self-fulfilment bucket.

And if what I'm passing on also happens to help those around me, and I can contribute to a bigger cause, then that's the icing on the cake (a keto friendly cake, of course).

Your 'why' is always there when you need it.

When you have those moments of doubt, where you're questioning what the heck you're doing, Go back to your why. It'll straighten you out.

So tell me: why do you do the thing you do  (beyond wanting to help others)? 

What brings you joy on your creative journey, and what do you want to achieve along the way?

Let me know, yeah?

Mena x

Useful Stuff to Know

✨ How to follow through on your big hairy writing goals

This is why S.M.A.R.T writing goals don't work, and what to do instead.

Hint: It has everything to do with time blocking and thinking small(er). 

Enchanting Marketing → Write more, fret less with smarter than S.M.A.R.T writing goals 

✨ Permission to teach with a beginners mind 

Let go of the idea of being an expert. You don't need to know it all to teach others. You just need to show up where you're at.

We need more beginners to teach because:

  • "Beginners want to see other beginners."
  • "More beginners means more humility!"
  • "More beginners will mean more forgiveness for mistakes."

And that's just for starters. 

Tatiana Mac → 10 reasons why beginners should teach

How to stay off the damn phone

I have a love-hate relationship with my phone, but the issue isn't with my phone. Not really. It's with how I use the phone throughout the day.

Do you find yourself reaching for your device when you should be doing something else? Maybe the tips in this article will help.

My favourite two are:

  • "Get a hobby and an “I’m bored and I need to shut my brain off for a little while” activity."
  • "Let go of the idea that you have to be constantly on, available, and up to speed on every micro-drama, meme, and niche news story."

Vice →  A useful guide to NOT being on your phone all the time

Manage your calendar like a boss

It's not about what you do with your time each day, it's about how you've planned it. Nir Eyal shares two questions that'll make you more mindful about how you're spending time:

  • “When in my schedule did I do what I said I would do and when did I get distracted?”
  • “Are there changes I can make to my calendar that will give me the time I need to better live out my values?”

Nir & Far →  How to manage your calendar more mindfully

Rediscovering and owning your creative talents

"I believe we are all artists. We all have creative energy. We just need permission to share it."

I love this piece by Lauren Valdez. In it she writes about how she hid her creative side away for years because it wasn't considered 'cool' by her peers. If you find yourself wanting to reconnect with that part of you who wants to sing, dance, paint, draw or design, this is for you.

Lauren Valdez → I am an artist

Caught on Twitter

Just for Fun!

Access to over 60,000 ebooks... for free!

Perfect if reading is your thing and you fancy catching up on some old classics  → Project Glutenburg