With so many platforms, formats and monetization strategies, there’s never been a better time to become a creator. But with so many options, how do you stay focused as a creator and actually start building some momentum behind your work?
Whether you want to write a blog, become a YouTube creator, or start a podcast, creative focus is going to play a big role in your trajectory and growth.
Trying to do everything can work for some, but chances are you’ll wear yourself too thin and everything will crash at once. Too much pressure on yourself is an easy shortcut to creator burnout.
Social Media, FOMO, and YOU
Whatever creative project you embark on, social media is presumably going to be a big part of your plan.
Social media is an amazing distribution engine, though the other side of that coin is comparison to other creators and FOMO.
What is FOMO?
FOMO is an abbreviation for “Fear of Missing Out”.
FOMO happens when you begin doing things that you see others doing. Even if you don’t exactly want to, you simply feel obligated to because that seems to be the direction all of your peers are heading.
This can even happen without you noticing. You think you want to be doing it, but you’ve simply convinced yourself of such after watching the direction of your peers.
How Social Media Exaggerates FOMO
If you spend a lot of time on Twitter as a creator, you are constantly faced with people reaching new heights thanks to Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other new projects.
While working on InTakeCreate, I got pulled into the wrong direction of creating a podcast even though I hadn’t been creating written content at the rate I had wanted. The podcast project only proved to further distract me from the written content.
Social media, no matter how intently you try to use it, will always feature a sense of comparison to your peers.
You are faced with your peers’ successes, and if you’re at a vulnerable stage in your process, it’s exceptionally easy to be persuaded into drastic direction changes.
To stave off FOMO in your creative projects, it’s best to implement rules to keep yourself focused.
The 80/20 Rule – Yes That Might Mean Dropping Projects
The 80/20 rule – also known as Pereto’s Law – is the act of refocusing your efforts on the 20% of work that results in 80% of the payoff.
For creators, this could mean dropping some projects and refocusing on the things that are working well right now. As painful as it can be to drop extra projects, it could be just the thing that gives your project the momentum it needs.
For myself, and InTakeCreate – this means putting a pin in the InTakeCreate podcast for now and focusing on written content and the newsletter to help creators live more fulfilling lives.
How to Know Which Projects to Focus On?
If you’re still early in your projects, it can be really difficult to know which ones to keep and which ones to focus on.
On a recent episode of the Tim Ferriss Show, Tim was asked how he knows he still wants to continue doing the Podcast. His answer changed my perspective on a lot of my projects.
The Full Body Yes
When looking at the calendar ahead and he sees a podcast recording it’s a simple question of it is a “Full Body Yes”.
This idea of looking for a full body yes unlocked it for me. When I saw it was podcast recording day, I didn’t have a full body yes type of reaction. I defaulted to procrastination and thinking I needed another day to think about the topic. Which of course threw off the process and made the project feel heavier than it needed to.
Build a Creative Playground
By avoiding FOMO, utilizing the 80/20 rule, and looking for a whole body yes, you set yourself up to stay focused as a creator on the things that can gain momentum.
But regardless of how focused you become, a creator’s mind will always wander. Creators are naturally inclined to starting new things, testing out ideas, and they can’t always fit in one single “niche” or under the same umbrella.
In order to stay focused as a creator, you have to have room to play.
Going forward, I am going to keep InTakeCreate as a blog (for now) designed to help creators leverage their creative work to build healthier, happier lives. But I still want to have room to write about topics that don’t neatly fit here.
For some, this could be a personal website. Though for my needs, a personal website will eventually be used to capture freelance clients. That means I’m going to use another platform for these experimental writing projects.
I’m going to build my creative playground on Patreon. My biggest supporters can directly support me and offer deeper feedback into things that can eventually influence InTakeCreate.
Everything on my personal Patreon will remain free to access for now, but the option to support will be there.
A Focused Creator is a Powerful Creator
By reigning in focus as a creator, you’re setting yourself up a runway that solicits momentum from each push of the publish button.
To recap the strategies, it’s best to:
- Remain mindful in your social media use
- Follow the 80/20 Rule
- Seek out a full body yes
- Build a creative playground
For more like this, sign up for the “Creator’s Notes” Newsletter. Every 2nd Monday I share a short essay about the creative process and a collection of resources helping me create better content and a healthier life.