I realize after typing the title of this post how that might sound. But I’m standing by it – not just because the middle schooler in me is going “heh. She said ‘doing it'”, but because I feel like several other writers, artists, or otherwise self-employed creatives out there will have a lot of resonance with this.

When do you know you’re “doing it”?

The “doing it” here can mean any number of things: Being a badass author, living out your dream of being an actor, making a name for yourself as an artist.

No matter your creative expression, I find that there is some imaginary line between “not doing it” and “doing it.” Between “still struggling,” and “made it.” And between “not good enough,” and “enough.”

What I’m asking, I suppose, is when do we know we’ve really done enough?

I’m putting this out there, not just because I see it in my own life over and over. But because I see it in so many artist’s lives over and over. I have a friend who is a visual artist, musician, and general Renaissance man. To those of us on the outside, it seems like he’s “doing it.” He’s booked at gigs all over the world; his art is visionary; he seems to live an exciting and creatively-fueled life.

But recently I learned that this seemingly-successful fellow does not see himself in this way at all.

Another friend is an actress – someone I admire and would actually like to get to know better. But the thing is, the woman is always busy. She seems to be booking shows left and right, teaching classes, doing standup. In my mind, she is making waves and kicking ass at what she loves.

But I wonder if she sees it that way. I wonder if she knows that to those of us on the outside, she’s nailing this whole acting career thing.

And then there’s me. For the past eight years or so, I’ve categorized myself on the side of “not doing it.” On the side of “still struggling,” “still working at it,” and “not where I want to be” in my writing career. In my mind, it’s less of a gradient and more like two sides divided by a line. I’m either “there,” or “not there.” And until I’m there, that must mean I’m not there, right?

But what if it isn’t so simple? What if there are not two sides at all, and no gradient, and nothing but:

Here.

Here is where we all are, in this moment. It’s all we’ve got. It’s the place where our stories slip from our lips, telling half-truths to anyone who will listen. In this way we create our own realities: coffins confining us, or open spaces to explore.

So what if, artists and creators, we merely choose to tell a different story – from here?

What if we forget about judging ourselves, just for a moment, for not being where we want to be just yet? For not making the impact we’ve hoped to?

For not “doing it”?

Because if you start from here, just here, you might notice that you’re doing a lot more than you thought. Give yourself some credit.

And maybe, just maybe, start to listen when people tell you what a great job you’re doing. Let it sink in.

You may be making more of an impact than you think.

My lovely agent, Jill Corcoran, recently suggested to me that I “build more of an online presence.”

An innocuous suggestion, but to my ears, it may as well have been “build an army and overthrow capitalism.”

In other words: a big project.

So here I am today, knee-deep in writing articles, posting on Facebook, emailing back and forth, and Tweeting my heart out, and I just thought I’d take a quick break to ask you writers, artists, or businessfolks out there:

How the hell do you do it?

Moving from the creative and cushy cloud world of illustrating my book, Call Me Perfect, into marketing head space feels like hard edges and scraped shins. Don’t get me wrong, when I get into the flow of a project, I am there, and only there exists. But when I am finished with it, and I take a look at the rest of the list of Things To Do in order to “build more of an online presence” my heart starts beating a little faster.

Tweet

Post

Email

Tweet

Post

Email

And on, and on.

I tell you: I’ll be happy when one day soon I have a team to help me with all of this.

But at least for today, I can check “Blog Post” off the list.

Note from the Editor (That’s me):

Dear reader,

Do you love the world of marketing? Do you get tickled with your PR prowess? I’d love some help in gaining more of an audience and online presence. Let me know if this is something you, or someone you know, might be interested in. ❤