Do you have a blog or website or are you a member of an online community or network?
If so, it’s likely you’ll have some kind of “About Me” or “Profile” page that tells us all about you, who you are, and what you’re into. Or does it?
Are you really telling us about the person you are now? Or instead painting a picture of someone you were, someone you used to be?
Rather than a polaroid taken today, maybe it’s more like a yellowing old wedding or graduation photo with funky hair and “Did I REALLY wear that?!” clothes that really doesn’t show accurately the person you’ve become?
So why does this matter?
It matters because it gives others who might be interested in getting to know you and your creative work a misleading account of the real you. The real you of right now.
If you’re telling people you’re a photographer but your camera’s been gathering dust the last nine months, or that you’re a dancer but you haven’t set foot on a dancefloor since the winter before last, it’s not giving them a chance to know the real you.
If you’re not being honest about who you are and what you’re into now, what kind of basis is that to start a new relationship?
More concerning than this though, is if you’re going around with one profile of yourself on display to the world, and living another, you’re not being honest with yourself.
You’re holding on to stuff that’s no longer as relevant to you anymore, and hiding what is important. All this holding and hiding adds up to you not being yourself.
And that’s never going to lead to you being able to be at your most happy and creative.
This doesn’t just apply to online bios and profiles, but the person you project to others you know and meet, the version of yourself you portray to the world and people you engage and interact with every day.
Imagine you have no profile, no bio, no “About Me” page, the slate is wiped clean. Forget anything you’ve done or created or being passionate about in the past for a moment.
Tell me about the you of right here and right now.
Take a few minutes to write down exactly what’s important to you today, here, right now.
What do you really want to be creating? What are you most passionate about? What’s calling you, what’s smouldering inside you, desperate to find a way to express itself?
Once you ask this question of yourself, completely truthfully – and without defaulting to past knee jerk responses about a you that was real a long time ago but not anymore – you can really start to uncover what matters.
If you used to write a poem every day but haven’t done in years, and lately you’ve enrolled in a gospel choir and have been enjoying yourself more than you have in ages, then that’s brilliant. That’s the you of right now. You’re a gospel singer. That’s something that inspires you and energises you, a way you love to create and express yourself.
If you used to make children’s clothing but haven’t touched your sewing machine since two summers ago, and recently have been exploring and enjoying altered books, then that’s the creative you of right now. That’s what you love, being an altered book artist. Celebrate it, share it.
Because we live with ourselves day in and day out, it’s all too easy to lose track of how we evolve, of who we are right now.
We hold on to old images and versions of ourselves that are simply not real or relevant now. They’re ghosts, former incarnations that have now become someone new. Someone better, more enriched, more experienced.
I’m not suggesting you completely reinvent yourself every couple of months, and we all have golden threads that run throughout our lives – themes and ways of creating that we’re always drawn back to in some form.
But revealing the wonderful, passionate person you are right now, it gives us all, and most importantly it gives you, the chance to create what really matters, to do the work and make the art that’s going to change your world, and the world of all who come to find it.
Stop living with a former you and let us all discover the incredible creative you of right here and now.
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