This is becoming a thing, huh?
Last year this time I post the branding lessons we can learn from Beyonce’s (surprise) album release. And now I’ve had another album epiphany with the (expected) release of Mary J. Blige’s album, The London Sessions.
As I type, I am listening to her new music…but it was something she said in her interview with Wendy Williams that struck me…….
She stated she was getting stale as an artist and with this album. She wanted to push herself as an artist, so she packed her bags and headed to the U.K.
“I felt like everything was getting a little stale, period,” Blige, 43, says. “In my career, in my creativeness, and I needed to push myself to another level to see what I had and just do something different in my creative space as an artist.”
~USA Today article
As creatives–bloggers, vloggers, product makers, writers, speakers, presenters, etc.–are we self aware enough to know when we need to push ourselves to another level and just do something different in our creative space?
For me, I go through periods of needing different “energy” around me. Seeing the same things and being around the same people all the time can cause a rut. When we are around the same things all the time, we tend to make the same decisions, do the same things. Finding new space in which to exist and create, like Mary did, is being FULLY ALIVE.
“Fully Alive” is the title of a book by Timothy Shriver, brother of Maria Shriver–part of the Kennedy Family Dynasty. I watched his interview with Oprah recently on OWN. That term has stuck with me because I think many of us have times in our lives where we are not fully alive and creating at our best–just like Mary felt.
What are you going to do if you don’t feel “fully alive” and creating at your best?
In my various dealings and conversations, I hear a lot of people are struggling for content and ideas in their primary niche. Part of the reason is that is generally the only vantage point from which we create. But when you desire to push yourself beyond just what you know and typically do, then the content will come to you.
As we approach the end of the year, I challenge and URGE you to have and/or create your own “London Experience.” End the year refershed, and begin a new year renewed!
Create Your Own London Experience
Live outside of your niche. Attend events that are not within your niche. So instead of attending another hair event, try attending a Chamber of Commerce, technology, leadership or generic women’s event. Submit a proposal to speak at an event–professionally or within your niche. Follow people online that are thought leaders within their own niche–which is different than yours. Leadership is a very translatable language–most principles cross niches. Guest blog on a site that is in a completely different niche–even about a completely different topic.
The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears.
~ Dan Stevens
Work from somewhere else. You all know I LIVE in Starbucks. Sometimes the four walls of my room are too stifling. I just need to be around different noises, smells, energy, people. This is probably the most low budget way to get “unstuck” and to push yourself creatively.
Work with someone else. In legislative circles this is known as “reaching across the aisle.” Find someone outside of your niche to build a relationship with–and work with. This may take some time to cultivate. But if you’re attending events outside of your niche, options may become more readily available. If you’re a natural hair blogger, work with someone who has a food blog. If you’re in the makeup and beauty niche, link up with someone in the fitness community. You expand your audience, your view and your skillsets.
Shhhhh there is one person I want to do a couple of videos with…
from her FB page
The incomparable Jouelzy. We actually have a couple of things in common–we’re sorors (ooo-ooop) and we’re both within the natural hair space. But I think that’s just about where the similarities end (smile). I love watching her #smartbrowngirl videos. But I’m know I’m a lot more traditional and conservative than she is and I think that dynamic would be so interesting to watch play out on screen. For instance, she likes “on fleek” and I don’t like made up words that I can’t find in the regular dictionary–as opposed the urban dictionary (kanye shrug). She has mentioned people being Tyler Perry characters–of which I would probably be considered one LOL.
We’ve been at a couple of events together and she is soooo lovely! So, from my typed words to God’s ears…
Anywhoo, any ideas on how you can create your own “London experience” to push yourself creatively in the near future? Leave your comments below.
A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.