I don’t know if any of it is any good, and I’m not sure it matters…it is a life force on its own. I’m still very young, in the duration of my life’s work.
If you look at the early work of many artists over a sphere of many mediums, you can see them channeling and imitating and bringing along the artists they’ve admired and learned from, and their teachers. Later on in their careers that is when the really amazing work begins to happen.
…It’s about the potential. It’s worth it to be a student. To not be a student is to suggest that I create in a vacuum, with no knowledge, with nothing…perhaps that’s something I’ll learn how to do.
Working with clients and students, I find them often emulating other successful sites and bloggers. This is a great way to learn, but a poor way to find your own original voice in web publishing.
A student asked me at what point in their career should they consider themselves “experts.” I told them they could call themselves an expert when their waiting list of clients exceeded their ability to keep up with the demand, or when their voice became their own and others began emulating them.
I loved their response. “You mean I have to keep working at this until then?”
Yes, you do.
What about you? Are you still at the creative stage where you emulate others? Nothing wrong with that.
Lady Gaga is right. She has done ground breaking work, pushing music today in new directions, but she is humble, understanding that this is a long term venture not an overnight success. It’s work. It’s hard work. It’s hard to fight to stay ahead of the crowd, to continually push boundaries, come up with new ideas while fighting off the cliches. Even Madonna, a boundary pusher extraordinaire, understood this. She emulated and learned from others, then pushed her way along a new path, experimenting with music, body, and art forms to expand entertainment and social norms over decades, and in her own way, she continues today while serving as a teacher to others.
Are you at the emulator, original voice, or teacher stage?
I’m at the teacher stage, sharing what I’ve learned along the way. I hope others emulate me, but I want to inspire others to do better than I did. I want to push you to new heights, not drag you behind me.
Where are you on that journey?
Your blog exercise today is to ask yourself are you at the stage of emulator, original voice, or teacher?
Once you determine where you are, ask yourself if this is where you want to be with what you do online with your self-publishing, writing, blogging, and social media interactions. Is this it? Do you want to do more?
How can you move from emulator to original voice? From original to teacher and mentor? Do you need to change? Are you ready?
Your blog is a great place to explore these stages in life and creativity. Explore it.
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