Create Content to Build Your Voice, Not Your Following

Personal Branding

I always feel a different kind of energy on the days I sit down to write about creativity.

That’s my favourite part I think, about these Friday newsletters. Being able to visit a new room in my brain each week, exploring the clutter that may have accumulated or better yet, finding a beautiful gem during my time here.

Sometimes I’ll have my topic planned early in the week, and other times—like today—I’ll sit down and decide to follow a completely new stream of thought.

This week I’ve been heavy in my business brain. I enrolled in a marketing course from one of my business mentors which I’m very excited about. Hence my being glued to the laptop until 11pm every night this week out of pure excitement to soak it all in.

Now that Friday has arrived and the weather in Ottawa is finally feeling like spring, I’ve decided to switch gears and indulge in my creativity. I say indulge because a funny thing happens when my right brain switches on. I’m immediately transported to an alternate universe where I live in the countryside with yellow and fuchsia tulips, freshly cut, in a vase on my kitchen table. Freshly baked apple pie on the counter and, who knows, maybe even a Lassie dog on my lap.

What a contrast to the business side of me who wants the modern, minimalist, boujee downtown home with only-blush-and-white-bouquets, surrounded by all of the hustle and bustle of a city that’s roaring with ambition!

The creative side of me wants an English country home filled with colour (gasp!) and maybe even a little clutter? (But let’s not get carried away—perhaps just a single coaster out of place… or one forgotten book on a counter… or a half-eaten apple still sitting on the counter. Nothing more!)

There’s something about writing and creativity that reminds me of my childhood. The summers in Lithuania, staying with our grandparents in the countryside with roosters waking us up, cats returning from their nightly hunting expeditions, and cows grazing across the unpaved street. Sneaking away to the attic with my older sister and cousin to write in our diaries or sew clothes for our Barbies (anyone else?!) or write songs that we then performed at family gatherings, charging every uncle, aunt, and parent for the forced-upon-joy of an afternoon concert from tone deaf tweens in their own backyards.

I’m only a few paragraphs in, but I’ve already lived an entire European summer in my head.

And if an adventure like that can happen from the mere act of picking up my pen on a Friday morning (and by pen, I obviously mean flipping open my laptop—but that doesn’t sound as romantic, does it?), then why would I ever let metrics or someone’s opinion of my work matter in comparison to the feeling of being so alive in this moment?

The best thing I did earlier this year is unfollow every “social media expert” and influencer on my Instagram. I found myself getting caught in this cycle of seeing someone’s tips on creating viral content, overthinking why I’m not leveraging the algorithm, and then reminding myself that the purpose of my social channels is not to make my outer self look good, it’s to make my inner self stronger. Such an exhausting cycle, sort of like keeping junk food in the house and having to constantly talk yourself out of having any. Just don’t keep chips in the house! How novel of an idea, right?

That’s the real value of creativity, to express ourselves and build our voice, not to build our following. To explore a new area of our mind, not flaunt our superiority.

Up until my mid-to-late-twenties, I genuinely did not know what I wanted in life. I so wished someone would just read my mind already and tell me what to do, dammit!! Isn’t it the most twisted joke that we live in our heads and yet we’re the last ones to know what the hell goes on in there?

Showing up weekly and sharing this newsletter is a strengthening exercise for my voice, intuition, and confidence. I’m not doing SEO research on what hot topics to write about because that would defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it? I’m not here to continue the narrative that the answer always lies somewhere outside of me.

And if you, like me, have been resisting your right brain for the last decade, I invite you to dust off those dreams and release your creative passion into the world. I promise, only the people that matter are watching.

And they’re celebrating you.

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