I client of mine recently renewed her contract and made a new six month goal. (Her last one took her idea from a seed to a live performance, a residency and a completed rough draft of her first book -- in six months!). Her new goal is to have a complete second draft of her manuscript by June 15, 2023. At that point, she determined, she will be ready to share her book with, as she said, “Someone I don’t know.”
We laughed! Even this brave creative, a lifelong creator of performance, knows the exhilaration and the terror that arises when we anticipate showing work to people we don't know.
I too have kept my manuscript close to the vest. It was only YESTERDAY that I shared whole chapters with people outside of the book program! That is some scary sh-t, sisters. But it is strategic in two critical ways: 1) When we anticipate the "show and tell" of something we are working on with someone we don't know, we are more likely to ramp up our commitment to the work and meet our deadlines. 2) When we bring our work to someone we don't know for their feedback or accountability, we build energy that creates synergies, creative thought, and impact beyond what we could imagine alone. As a coach, I often ask my clients, "How will you know?" How will you know you are committed to this project deadline? One piece of evidence I request is that you tell at least three people what you are up to. And those three people should include someone you don't know well, but whose opinion you value, trust or need in order to move forward. (They should ALL be chosen carefully, don't tell someone who won't champion your courage to create!)
What is another way I know I will finish my book when at times I think I won't?
I commit to dates to show up with the book.
This is probably the most surefire way to do the hard work of completing the scariest, but most thrilling transformational work you can do.
If you want to finally approach the thing you desire the most, which is also the thing that scares you the most --- Start putting dates in the calendar and promising to show up for them.
- Make an appointment with the voice coach
- Arrange three calls with women you admire who do what you want to do
- Go to see an artist you love and then invite her to have a conversation
- Write your first workshop proposal or mission statement and invite people into a brainstorming session on your behalf
- Register for the audition
- Hire the collaborator you want to work with
In order to move the needle forward on your dream, one small step you can take today is to tell someone you don't know that you HAVE A DREAM. Pick a person you don't know and observe how your body reacts.
I guarantee you will start to have some feelings. That's you being alive. That's you braving creativity.