I'm really excited to share this conversation that I had with Andrea Klunder of CreativeImpostor.com
Andrea is a super-diverse creative; a teacher, an actor, a podcaster, a yogi... the list goes on! Andrea is a meditation facilitator for startup companies and creative individuals, founder of Peace and Play Yoga and the producer and host of the Creative Imposter podcast, a show that is all about how to get out of your head and take bold action in your life and work despite that little voice in your head that says who do you think you are, you can't do that.
I sat down with Andrea to discuss creativity and what is known as the imposter syndrome.
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.” Seth Godin
Due to some unexpected turns of events, I found myself on a surprise holiday.I’ll spare you the lengthy details but I’m having a couple of weeks off work. This happened on a short notice, so I didn’t have anything special planned.
As my accidental holiday slowly draws to an end I’m wondering if I made the most of it. It’s pretty rare to have time off like this. Did I make the most of it?
When I decided to finally stop exploring and re-publish my blog last week, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had built a nice email list of subscribers teaching online marketing and business. Now I was suddenly going into a completely new direction and I had no idea what was going to happen next.
But I was tired, and I was ready. I didn’t really care what was going to happen next, I just knew that this was a direction I wanted to take, so I was just going to bite the bullet and see what would happen.
I’ve been thinking about goal-setting a lot in the aftermath of my 2016 annual review. As I was writing the review, it became really clear to me that the way I’ve approached and executed my goals hasn’t worked for me at all.
As a driven, ambitious person, I was all for setting “big scary goals” for the year and then launching myself into action. I’m good at getting stuff done. I rarely feel overwhelmed, and this year I’ve had the time to really get stuck in with the work. However, my execution has lacked one crucial element – consistency.
I was so focused on the outcome of the Big Goals, that I ended up moving from one thing to another quickly as soon as something didn’t seem to bring the results I was looking for. It’s not because I’m scattered, it’s because I’ve believed that I need to work in an “agile” way.
A few years back I decided I wanted to learn to draw and paint. I enrolled in an art course and spent 4 hours at class, twice a week for an entire semester. The art school was a respectable old institution, and it stood on a weather-beaten island just outside my hometown Helsinki, Finland.
Every Wednesday and Thursday after work, I sat on a ferry and travelled 20 minutes to this island. Then I walked another 20 minutes from the ferry to the art school. This was autumn, so by then it was dark and it was usually raining.
Inside the art school, we stood in a big, cold, empty room, propped our easels up, took a chunk of coal and started drawing. We were drawing pots and vases at first, but soon we got a live model, that stood still for those four hours, as we did our best to capture every angle of his body.
My wake-up call came at a friend’s wedding about seven years ago. Somebody asked me what I did for a living, and I answered truthfully: I’m a singer in a rock band. She thought it was cool, but I went into a rant about why it wasn’t.
“Creative work is definitely more perspiration than inspiration. The constant travelling and playing late night gigs is exhausting. The ‘business’ side of ‘music business’ is a joke,” I fumed.
On and on I went. As you’d expect, she was pretty shocked. But it was her words to me that made me stop in my tracks: “Wow, so much anger!”
The right tools in the right hands can really put your productivity on steroids. But when you’re first starting it can all feel really overwhelming.
On one hand you’re excited and you want to know EVERYTHING. On the other hand it’s really difficult to keep your head above the water, when you are constantly bombarded with information, recommendations, tools and tactics. The result is you spend more time reading books and blog posts, and learning about the latest tips and tricks than doing actual work.
A Finnish tabloid newspaper published a story about Susanna, who went travelling to Indonesia. Initially, the trip was supposed to be a sabbatical, lasting for about a year, but the sun, the sea and the small island of Gili Trawangan stole Susanna’s heart. She decided not to return back home. That meant leaving behind the life as she knew it. She had a job in an IT-company. She had just bought a brand new flat. She didn’t have any family or friends in Indonesia, but she decided to stay.
The story received a lot of attention. The newspaper’s comments box was filled with varying responses. Many were positive. Some readers were inspired by Susanna’s story, and voiced their own dreams of moving abroad, away from the cold and dark Finnish climate. Some readers were bitter and cynical.