Every curious, purpose-driven, big-hearted creative I’ve worked with as their content coach has ached for exactly the same thing when it comes to creating and sharing content online:
To create something that matters.
Something that resonates. Something that connects. Something that can go deeper. Sometimes it’s also something that will sell, but it’s always, always, something that is way more than just empty words on a screen.
And together here is what we always discover and learn: discomfort is part of the process when you’re creating content that matters.
1. The discomfort of making time
When you’re busy running a business, working with clients, managing the day-to-day tasks, and working from meeting to meeting, email to email, and deadline to deadline, giving time to content creation can be a struggle along the way. Especially if you’re side hustling alongside a day job, carving out that time to create and share may tend to always fall to the bottom of your to-do list as it always seems like there are much more pressing tasks at hand.
Giving up your time to create content can be uncomfortable. For so many of us, every second counts when it comes to tackling our to-do lists and keeping our head above water when it comes to our work and our lives.
If you’re struggling with this one, the trick here is to change your mindset: creating content isn’t going to take you away from your work, it is part of the work that moves you, your ideas, and your brand forward in ways everyday tasks alone cannot.
2. The discomfort of making space
Content that matters cannot come to fruition without making space for it to be created. The mental, emotional, and creative space we need to create content that resonates and connects can be uncomfortable to give; almost all of my clients tell me they can feel both energised and exhausted after working on a piece of content for their digital space.
When we create content that matters, we’re pushing ourselves to make sense of our ideas and share them in a tangible way that will resonate and connect. Whether you share advice, insights, stories, or how-to’s, a certain type of space is needed to create something that connects.
If you find it hard to make the space to create, something to try is taking the time to understand the kind of environment and mindset that you need to create. Do you need silence? Do you need an entire day in your calendar to dedicate to the task? Do you need a bustling coffee shop to lose yourself in your process? Or how about a bigger purpose, vision, or goal? Whatever it is, don’t worry that the discomfort is a sign that you’re not capable of bringing ideas, words, and stories to life that are worth paying attention to.
3. The discomfort of being vulnerable
There are two vulnerabilities that tend to creep up on us when we’re creating content that matters:
1. The vulnerability of sharing our stories, our ideas, our message, and our thoughts
Certain stories take us to places we haven’t visited in a while. Other stories take us to places that are hard to explore but we want to share. Some ideas feels bold and brave and we’re afraid that they won’t connect with others, and sometimes our message means so much to us that we’re afraid to put it out there into the world.
2. The vulnerability that comes with the fear of not being good enough
So many of my clients tell me that a reason they’re not making the space and time to create is because they’re afraid they won’t write as well as those who they respect, admire, and connect with do. The fear of not being good enough holds them back from giving themselves the space to see what it is they’re truly capable of creating.
Vulnerability is something we can either run away from or work alongside. I truly believe that the magic happens when we learn how to channel our vulnerability to create from a place of meaning, without sacrificing our own needs in the process.
If you’re struggling with this one, my biggest advice would be to give yourself some space to create the content that scares you - without the pressure to hit publish. Just create it, walk away for a while, and come back and see how it makes you feel. The most important thing here is to develop your intuition along the way to know where your boundaries are and what it is you truly want to share.
4. The discomfort of lack of control over the reaction, response, and outcome
Everyone has hopes and intentions when they’re creating and sharing content of meaning. Maybe it’s to have impact and reach, maybe it’s to connect and share, maybe it’s to authentically sell their products or services, or maybe it’s a mix of all three. Whatever it is, it’s hard not to take those hopes and intentions with us when we’re making the space and time to create and share.
The discomfort that comes with the lack of control over the reaction, response, and outcome of your content can be paralysing. We all ache for certainty from time to time, and hitting publish and sharing our ideas with the world - even when we’re 100% comfortable, confident, and proud of what we’ve created - opens us up to so many things outside of our control.
Maybe it will resonate. Maybe it won’t. Maybe we’ll get the return we were hoping for, or maybe this just wasn’t the piece for the job.
Something to remember is that it’s not our job to worry about the outcome. All we can do is show up, create and share with meaning, and cultivate connections and community that are purposeful for our message, purpose, and goals.
Being brave enough to hit publish and know that the reaction, response, and outcome doesn’t define our self-worth or the quality of our content or our ability as a thought leader, creative, or storyteller is how we truly make space to become content creators who can resonate, connect, and sell along the way.
It’s okay if creating content that resonates and connects doesn’t always come easy to you. It’s okay if it’s a process that feels as fulfilling as it does uncomfortable. We stretch ourselves when we dig deep and create; we push our limits and test our boundaries when we’re authentically sharing our stories, ideas, and message, and the magic happens we stick at it, flex our content creation muscle as often as possible, and trust that our work matters and our stories are here to be heard.
As curious, purpose-driven, big-hearted creatives, the way we choose to make a living is way more than just about the money we’re working so hard to earn. It’s about the impact, the reach, and the higher level contribution we can make with our work. It’s about the people we serve, and why we want to serve them. Creating content that matters and that resonates and connects is one of the ways we can do this, and embracing the discomfort that comes with it is how we can continue to share our message and our value along the way.
Here's to making the space to create content that resonates and connects.
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