What I Learned From Teaching My First E-Course

Remember back in December when I was shouting from the rooftops about something called Do The Damn Thing? Well, for the last eight weeks, I have been doing the damn thing -- the damn thing being teaching my very first e-course, Do The Damn Thing

In teaching your an e-course, you may end up learning just as much as your students. In this post, I've included some of the lessons I learned from the amazing individuals who joined me for my first ever course on creative confidence, Do The Damn Thing. Click through to get the full scoop!

This weekend, I sent out my final module to my students just after shedding a solitary tear and just before popping a big ol' bottle of champagne (I'm a big fan of treating myself). Really and truly, I could not have asked for a better group of people to be a part of my first course. For the last two months, I've not only delivered them my thoughts and discoveries on the creative process, but I've also had the privilege of hearing their stories and walking alongside them as they embarked on the truly terrifying work of starting a creative endeavor. It's been a blast and a half. 

Do The Damn Thing is easily one of the biggest projects I've ever tackled, potentially the biggest, and now that it's over and done with, I figured it might be beneficial to reflect on some of the things I learned throughout teaching this course.

Now, just to set expectations, here's a disclaimer: this is not going to be a particularly business-heavy post. I'm not going to be digging deep into how I got people to sign up, what programs I used to deliver my course, or anything like that. While those things are definitely important, there are people on the Internet who are way more excited and far more skilled to talk about them than I am.

Instead, I'd rather talk about the actual emotional experience of coordinating a course of this nature as well as the powerful creative lessons I've learned from interacting with my amazing students.

Again, I really dig those folks and I've also got a lot of feelings, so yeah, let's do this. 

Why I did it

This last year has been a growing one for me in more ways than one. You may have recently read my uber honest post about how 2015 was the year I finally, after struggling for several years, found help for my depression. Around the time that I started seeing improvements in my mental health, I also noticed that I suddenly had a lot of creative desire that wasn't there before. I mean, I've always prided myself on being a creative person, and hello, I'm a writer by trade, but in the throws of depression, creativity seemed to be this thing that escaped me. Just like all of my emotions, I consistently lacked the "feeling" of creativity. 

But suddenly and without warning, I found myself once again bursting at the seams with creative energy. It was wonderful, but it was also incredibly frustrating. Even though my creative mojo was back in full force, I had been out of the game for so long that I simply had no idea what to do with it. I couldn't figure out how to channel it effectively.

And thus came a major season of trial, error, and lots and lots of help. I started a local creative collective with a friend of mine, signed up to work with a creative business coach (best decision of my career thus far, by the way, and I'll definitely be sure to tell you more about that later, promise), and I started devouring any creative resource I could get my hands on. Like a weird, obsessive moth to a flame, I became fixated on the idea of creativity. Where does it come from? How does one channel it? How do the pros develop solid creative habits? Why do I know so many brilliant, imaginative people who aren't pursuing their creative passions?

In doing this, as is usually the case when putting considerable effort towards something, I started seeing some serious results. Unlike any other time in my life, I had a legitimate creative routine and I was feeling, well, prolific. In fact, people started remarking that they were noticing a marked shift in the stuff I was creating and releasing online. And I'm not going to lie, I was noticing it too.

As I was getting ready to launch this new website all about creativity and confidence, I knew I wanted to share these lessons in a way that was more in-depth than just a simple blog post. So one night, I sat down in front of my idea wall (yes, I have an idea wall. What of it?) with a ton of sticky notes and I started creating this mess:

That brainstorming process led to a course idea about getting creatively unstuck which led to a cheeky title called "Do The Damn Thing" which led to a sales page which led to incredible people signing on to get moving on projects that mattered. Blast off!

What I learned

You'd think that I, being the all-knowing authority on creativity that I purport to be, would have nothing to left to learn. But au contraire. As far as I'm concerned, Do The Damn Thing was not so much about what I knew, but rather it was my selfish attempt to gather a collection of creative experts around me. Sure, they were stuck creatives, as many of us often are, but they had plenty of wisdom to share. 

Throughout teaching this course, I also had the experience of learning those highly unsticky lessons -- the ones that are so valuable, so monumentally important, but for some reason, you have to relearn them over and over again throughout the course of your life. Here are just a few:

1. Creative blocks can happen to ANYONE

Let me give you a rundown of the kind of talent that was running rampant in this course. Here are just a few of the insanely amazing projects folks were working on throughout DTDT: a standup comedy set (from one of the funniest humans I've ever met), a creative services business (photography, writing -- this girl can do it all), a party supply company with the most fantastic premise that I'm dying to tell you what it's all about but I should probably keep it a secret (but ugh I want to tell you), multiple blogs, a gorgeous photography series, and a crime novel that I legitimately cannot wait to read. Among this group of creatives, we had a lawyer, two digital marketing specialists, a textile designer, an actor, a TV producer, a 7th grade teacher, a writer, a college administrator -- you know what I'm getting at: these Do The Damn Thing Folks = LEGIT.

AND YET even these brilliant, successful, good-head-on-their-shoulders kind of people all shared one common bummer: they were stuck. 

Just like bedbugs or having an anvil fall on your head or getting some kind of skin crawling bacteria from a hot tub, creative blocks can happen to literally any person in the world. No matter how successful you are, no matter how long you have been working at it, no matter how much of a genius your friends tell you that you are -- you can still get stuck.

It's one of those things I've always known intellectually, and of course, I've heard some of my favorite artists throughout history speak of their struggles with the creative process, but it's sometimes a hard thing to believe (SUURE, Stephen King, you had writer's block while writing Bag of Bones. SUUUuuUUUReee, Elizabeth Gilbert, you experienced creative anxiety after releasing one of the most popular books of the decade). Even in my own experiences with being creatively stuck, I have to admit that I felt unconvinced that others would struggle so similarly.

That said, if it can happen to the solid folks in this course, it can happen to anyone. On one hand, of course, that seems somewhat disappointing. But on the other hand, it's strangely liberating. It means that no matter how alone you feel in creative frustration, there is someone out there, likely someone closer than you think, going through the exact same thing. You're not alone. No one is. 

2. Providing clarity for someone else is an inexplicable joy

There is just nothing quite as gratifying as helping someone figure out a creative plan (maybe having a baby. Maybe. I mean, I don't know what that's like. People seem to really dig it. But I can't speak to it, so whateva).

Throughout this course, I really tried to keep my door open for anyone who needed a bit of extra help, and in doing so, I found that I became so invested in the stories these new friends were telling me. It's as though their struggles were my struggles and their victories were mine as well, which I realize may have been a little selfish, but whatever, I'm selfish.

Going into this course, I pretty much thought that Do The Damn Thing would be all about the content: the modules and the weekly group emails. And while those things were SO. FLIPPIN. FUN. to create, it was ultimately the interpersonal connections that provided me with the most joy. The emails, the messages, the phone calls I got to jump on with the students who opted in for consultations -- these were the highlights for me.

It was that unique experience of being able to afford someone else the grace and perspective that I often deny myself. It gave me the chance to look at individuals who impress me and say, "You have SO MUCH to offer!" with full certainty that what I was saying was true. In fact, I fell so hard for the idea of helping creatively stuck people find clarity that I've decided to continue offering consultations as a service (pssssttt...you can book yours right here). At this point, it's one of my favorite things to do, so I figured, why stop now?

3. Fear is not destroyed or avoided; it's challenged and followed.

Here's a short list of some of the fears that the people in this course expressed (myself included) that kept them from pursuing creative work:

1. Fear of not being good enough/talented enough/skilled enough to make something that matters
2. Fear of trying and failing
3. Fear of trying and succeeding and still being dissatisfied
4. Fear of pursuing something as frivolous as creative work
5. Fear of wasting time
6. Fear of being seen as vain
7. Fear of losing control
8. Fear of feeling like a fraud
9. Fear of messing up in front of people
10. Fear of not being as talented as ____
11. Fear of not being able to balance it all
12. Fear of not being able to do it perfectly
13. Fear of regret
14. Fear of discomfort

When we talk about fear, we often talk about "moving past it" or "conquering it," as though it were something we could just walk around or shoot with a laser beam. In fact, I've used these terms myself. Recently. But in watching the individuals in this course and in experiencing these things for myself, one thing has become abundantly clear: fear doesn't often go away.

Those fears that prevent you from living out your gifts and talents -- they are resilient. They are like cockroaches or Twinkies (I've heard Twinkies could withstand a nuclear apocalypse. Not feeling like fact-checking that, but do with that what you will). No matter how many creative courses you sign up for, no matter how far you advance in a creative career, your fears are likely here to stay.

So this calls for a different way of approaching fears -- a reframing of sorts. Instead of pushing fears aside or slicing them open with a machete, what if instead we decided to do something totally bizarre? What if we followed fear?

Even though we think of fear as this insidious creature, and that it may well be, at its core, fear is trying to tell us something. You may have heard Eleanor Roosevelt's advice to "do one thing every day that scares you." The reason for this is because fear makes its dwelling in the depths of our desires. 

Have you ever stood in a grocery store looking at boxes of cereal, thinking, "What do I want?" So often, we are clueless to our own desires, but there is one way to be sure: by noticing your fears. 

The people I've been working with over the last eight weeks have done a beautiful job of this. Truly. They've been doing things that scare the hell out of them, maybe not always in the time they hoped they would or in the way they imagined, but the important thing is, they're doing it. And that's really all there is to creativity. 


So that's what I've learned from my Do The Damn Thing crew. Without gushing too much and looking like a big ol' softy, I'd like to extend the biggest thank you to the people who not only helped me get this course off the ground (you know who you are) but those of you who participated in it, thus teaching me some of life's greatest lessons. You're all sparkling moon rocks that I want to put in my pocket.

If you didn't get a chance to take part in this round of DTDT, don't you fret! I am planning to rerelease it sometime later this year. If you want to be the first to know when that goes down, be sure to sign up here

Is there a creative lesson you've learned lately?

The Problem With "I Used To Could Do It"

When I was in college, I spent every summer, four in total, working at a camp in Central Texas. Every morning, I would wake up at 6:45 AM, hustle a pack of eight-year-olds out of their bunks, and spend the rest of the day sweating out 1/3 of my body weight in 101+ degree heat. 

And man, I loved it. It still remains a mystery to me why I loved it so much, but I'm quick to tell anyone who asks that working at camp is easily the best job I've ever had.

For my first two summers, I worked as a counselor, which meant that I was in charge of the care, safety, and dance parties of a group of eight or so girls. But the latter two summers, I worked on program staff as a challenge course facilitator. This meant that I was certified to lead small groups in high and low elements. That's right, I was the lady spotting kids as they dangled from high wires and crawled through tires, and I was also the lady who made them sit in a circle afterwards and talk about their feelings.

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While I loved facilitating, there was a side of the job that I found absolutely agonizing: watching challenge course. 

I mean, first off, it was just boring. As a facilitator, my job was to set up the objective (ex. move from one platform to another smaller platform without touching the ground because, hello, it's hot lava), but after that, I was only there to keep everyone safe. I couldn't talk or provide any expert insight. I could only observe.

And here's what I observed: lots of loud-mouthed kids with terrible ideas shouting over quieter kids with sensible ideas. This was pretty much the scene at most challenge course initiatives I ever facilitated. For the most part, until the time came to debrief, my job was simply to monitor the dysfunction.

While I saw a lot of insanity in my challenge course facilitator days, there's one memory I have in particular that really sticks with me, one that I've actually been thinking about a lot lately.

I was facilitating a group of thirteen-year-old boys, each one more awkwardly lovable than the next. They had been struggling with cohesion, so I decided to bring them to what was a classic teamwork element at camp: The H-Platform, a large wooden structure with a raised platform about five feet off the ground. The objective I set was a simple one for a group of this level: get every member of your group up to the top without touching the structure with any part of your body, except for your feet.

If you're having trouble envisioning how they were supposed to accomplish this challenge, here's the trick: the group is supposed to safely lift each member up one-by-one and set them on the platform gently. Anyone who is already on top can help pull individuals up for support. The last one up is usually a smaller, athletic kid who can be pulled up by the rest of the group.

Many groups figure this simple strategy out right away. Many more do not.

On this particular day, things started in the usual way. I gave my instructions, and the boys proceeded to try to ask me several follow-up questions while I simply stared back at them, severely, through my sunglasses (not going to lie, my challenge course persona was pretty intimidating, and I loved it). They made a few attempts to push themselves up on the platform with their forearms, clearly having not listened to my instructions. I asked them to start over, and they were puzzled.

My Challenge Course persona. Don't mess.

My Challenge Course persona. Don't mess.

A quiet kid named Garrett remarked, "We're only supposed to use our feet." And then a louder kid named Devon shouted, "WE CAN'T USE OUR ARMS, YOU IDIOTS! ONLY OUR FEET!" The group took Devon's words to heart and collectively agreed that the challenge was impossible.

But then a boy named Zach had an idea. Zach, by the way, was a small, boisterous, little guy on a mission to prove his manliness (did you notice how I used two different adjectives to describe how prepubescent this kid was? It's relevant to the story, I promise). According to Zach, he had a platform just like this one in his backyard at home. Why, the others asked. Well, because he built it. Duh. He used a circular saw and everything.

Seemed plausible.

Anyway, according to Zach, he had done this loads of times (this, being scaling a five foot platform with nothing but his feet). "Watch this," he commanded his skeptics. 

I got into my spotting stance, knowing this would certainly not be good, and I watched as this boy, whose crisply gelled hair stood roughly three inches above the platform, placed one foot on the edge of the structure and proceeded to backflip, wildly, straight into my arms. The whole thing looked like that scene in The Peanuts where Charlie Brown pitches a ball and it gets batted right back towards him, so his body spins in circles until he lands on his back, mysteriously having lost his clothes. Fortunately, Zach was still clothed throughout this whole incident, but his movements were just as chaotic. In an instant, we were both on the ground, me having broken his fall, him having no recognition of the fact that I had essentially just saved his life.

Image via  Red Legs Review

Image via Red Legs Review

To this day, I still have no idea what Zach was actually attempting in this maneuver. The only thing I can think is that he mistakenly thought that he was a nine-foot giant who could simply step up onto a platform five feet off the ground. But regardless of how insane his initial idea was, it's what he said to his group immediately afterwards as he was dusting himself off that left me positively dumbfounded. 

"Well...I used to could do it," he said, shrugging. 

I used to could do it. This sentence echoed in my mind as the most ridiculous words ever spoken. On the outside, I was still a stone-faced facilitator, but on the inside, I was doubled over in laughter. Not only did I love the awkward, pre-teen phrasing of his bizarre statement ("I used to could..."), but I marveled at the sheer implausibility of it. You used to could do it? You used to be shorter!

If it's not apparent from my description of him, I should probably make it clear that I really liked Zach. He was a sweet, funny kid, but he was also just ridiculous, as were all of my favorite campers. But that day on challenge course, Zach taught me a tremendous lesson, one that I still think about all the time: a lesson in self-comparison.

We often talk about the dangers of comparing ourselves to others. We know that we should keep our eyes on our own paper and focus on who we are rather than on what someone else is doing. We know that comparison is the thief of joy and that no one is perfect and that Instagram doesn't tell the whole story and yadda yadda yadda. 

But perhaps an even greater danger exists when we compare ourselves to...ourselves. Our former selves, that is.

Look: Zach literally thought he "used to could" step up onto a five foot plank of wood, no problem. And that's just crazy. But is it any crazier than the times in life when we say things like I used to be so much more outgoing or I used to be happier or I used to be better at ____?

Honestly, just like Zach, we all kind of suck when it comes to estimating our former abilities. We always romanticize. We always exaggerate. We always glorify. So when we think back on the person we used to be, chances are we aren't even really considering the whole story.

The downfall of these flashback comparisons is that they cause us to uplift false versions of our old selves while degrading who we are now. When we long for the days gone by, we neglect just how far we've come.

I have to admit that I can get caught up in this type of toxic thinking fairly easily. Lord knows there are days that I'd love to go back to being Camp Counselor Christy. In my mind, I often look at her as the freest (not to mention thinnest) version of myself. I find myself longing for "the good old days," wishing that I could get that time back. 

But if I'm really being honest, Camp Counselor Christy wasn't all that. Girl didn't have half of what I have now. She was less skilled, less knowledgable, and far less experienced than the person I am today. She also wore Nike shorts everywhere she went and didn't enjoy the taste of coffee. What a weirdo.

So that said, if you're anything like me, if you ever struggle with past-self-comparison, learn from Zach's and my mistakes. Focus less on the things you "used to could do" and instead take stock in the person you are now. For the record, it's very possible (and actually highly likely) that you don't even have a clear picture of who you used to be. Chances are that in the past you had the same exact insecurities and fears and oddly-placed moles that you have now, but your selective memory is choosing not to remember any of that. 

The truth is you have come such a far way from whatever former version of yourself you have chosen to idealize. And there is so much value in the sheer fact that you are growing. You may never be able to step up onto a five foot platform all on your own (honestly, you likely never could before), but right now you have more knowledge, skill, experience, and strength (perhaps more mental than physical, but whatevs) than you've ever had in your entire life. Ever.

By the way, much to my surprise, the boys did eventually complete their challenge course objective that day. Someone eventually started listening to Garrett's ideas, and Zach was one of the first people to be hoisted up onto the platform. As I watched this scene unfold, I couldn't help but swell with pride. Perhaps Zach "used to could" do this on his own. I guess we'll have to take him at his word on that one. But that day on challenge course, he had an army of eight goony thirteen-year-old boys helping him up. And honestly, isn't that so much better than doing it alone? As far as I'm concerned, that's progress. 

Do you ever struggle with past-self-comparison? How do you move past it?

5 Mistakes Creatives Make When Starting Something New

Something you should know about me: I am a New Year's resolution apologist. No matter what season it is, I am always down to encourage people who want to start something new. That's why I'm continually baffled by folks who make it their personal mission to stand as opponents to the entire concept of New Year's resolutions. Seriously, I deliver Liz Lemon-level eye rolls whenever I see the inevitable articles:

Why New Years Is a TERRIBLE Time To Start Something New

7 Reasons Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work

50 Reasons Why Anyone Who Starts Going To The Gym On January 1st Is A Danger To Themselves And Others

Want to start working towards something BIG? Here are 5 potential mistakes you might make when starting something new (and how to fix them). Click through to learn more!

Okay, they usually aren't that extreme, but you know what I mean.

We should be celebrating anyone who wants to better themselves. Like, as a society, this should be our goal. So because I believe this personally, I am no more judgmental of someone who sets a New Year's resolution than I am of a baby taking her first little wobbly steps in the world. I mean, hell, we've all got to start somewhere!

Still, perhaps the cynicism surrounding New Year's resolutions lies within our collective knowledge that starting stuff is just hard. Honestly, that's simply a given truth about being a person. I remember whenever I was a kid, there wasn't a single first day of school in which I didn't come home totally exhausted, open up a package of Dunk-a-roos, and just cry silently to myself over the newness of it all while unknowingly spreading chocolate all over my face.

Transitions are tough. Beginnings can be brutal.

And especially, when it comes to starting something creative -- perhaps a new creative endeavor, a book, a blog, a photography series, etc. -- it's hard to feel confident about those initial first few steps when there is so much uncertainty about the future. 

But hey, guess what: it's totally possible start something new AND finish it AND feel really great about it. I really believe that. As with anything, the first step in building a better creative future is by recognizing the potential pitfalls. Here are some common mistakes creatives make when starting something new:

1. We've got "hungry eyes."

Is this a common expression or is it just one that my mom made up? She used to say it a lot to me, especially whenever our family would go to eat dinner at a buffet. As a kid, being at a buffet would essentially cause me to lose my goddamn mind. I would look around the room with its vast array of culinary options, and I would return to the table with everything: pork chops, fried chicken, peel-and-eat shrimp, an ice cream sundae, mashed potatoes, a breakfast burrito, a giant sweet tea, and, like, six rolls. "You've got hungry eyes," my mom would say. "You're never going to be able to finish all that."

And dammit, she was right. Not only would I not finish my meal, but I'd get so stuffed that I would end up throwing up whatever I ate. Charming story, I know.

Anyway, the exact same thing happens in our creative pursuits. We start a project PSYCHED, overjoyed by the sheer freedom of it all, and we immediately take on too much at once. Pretty soon, we collapse from the pressure.

Solution: Think smaller. I mean, your dreams should be big, so big that they scare the crap out of you. But the steps to achieving your dreams should be manageable. Instead of saying, "I'm going to write the next great American novel," why not just slow your roll and instead say, "I'm going to write one page a day." Or one paragraph a day. Or one sentence. Who cares?! Create short assignments that will breed confidence into your life, not massive projects that put you on a guilt trip.

2. We lose hope too quickly.

We encounter a roadblock and suddenly find ourselves in the throws of despair. We realize that the things we are creating aren't the polished masterpieces that we want them to be. We forget about the entire concept of drafting entirely, and we throw in the towel in order to save face.

Solution: Creative blocks are an inevitable, normal part of the process. You're simply not going to be ideating and making your best work 24/7. That said, it's important to battle the assumption that creative work is somehow glamorous because it is NOT. It can be rewarding, yes, but more often that not, it's arduous and painstaking. But in my experience, the best stuff comes after pushing through the worst stuff.

3. We try to do it alone.

We see our creative projects as solitary endeavors, so we don't invite anyone in. There is no accountability, no encouragement, no support. We are just islands in a sea of apathy and Netflix.

Solution: Grab some humans. Not just any humans -- humans you trust. And tell them what you're working on. Or better yet, work with them on something amazing. 

4. We don't invest.

When an investor puts money into a fledgling business, they don't do it for the hell of it. They do it because they believe in the company, and they believe there will be a sizable return. The same is true in our creative lives. When we invest time and even money into our projects, we are making a statement that our creative work is worth something, that it will yield valuable results. And of course, the opposite is true whenever we don't invest.

Solution: Invest, baby! Buy that software or that set of calligraphy pens or enroll in that course or whatever it is you need to MAKE. IT. HAPPEN. Invest the time you need into reaching your goals. That's how you show the world and yourself that you're worth it. (Because psssttt...you are!)

5. We have no plan.

We think, "Meh, I'll just wing it." We change nothing about our daily routines and we assume that things will just somehow work out. Of course, the creative process should be a time for freedom and flexibility, but without some semblance of structure, without habits in place, things can easily fall apart.

Solution: Before you jump headfirst into a creative project, it's essential to have a creative plan in place. Think through what working on your project will mean for your day-to-day. What will it look like to invest time in your project? Make a plan for that. What will it look like to pursue your creative endeavor habitually? Make a plan for that. Who will be checking in with you? Make a plan for that. Think ahead to any potential pitfalls, and then make a plan to leapfrog over those pitfalls like they are no big deal.

How do you ensure success when starting something new?

 

What Even Is This Place?

You made it! Good, I was so worried you'd get lost!


You know how when you throw a party there's always that terrible moment about five minutes before it gets started in which you wonder, "Oh my god, what if no one shows up?"

You've put out all this dip. You've rented a karaoke machine. You've sequestered your cat in your bedroom so that he doesn't try to hunt your guests. 

But what if there are no guests? What if it's just you alone in a living room with a karaoke machine and an embarrassing amount of french onion dip?

Or worse, what if only one person shows up? At least if no one shows up, you don't have any witnesses. You can Instagram a picture of yourself with a lampshade on your head with the caption, "Things sure got crazy at tonight's highly-attended party that I threw!" and your followers would be none the wiser. 

But if just one guy shows up, then you have a spectator of your misery. You should update your passport now because you will most definitely need to leave the country.

What a great party! Just look at all of my friends who came out to support me! (JK I'm just standing in front of a Shake Shack. I don't know any of the people in the background).

What a great party! Just look at all of my friends who came out to support me! (JK I'm just standing in front of a Shake Shack. I don't know any of the people in the background).

But then comes the time for the party to actually begin, and lo and behold, people start showing up! Lots of em! You know why? Because people love parties! What were you so worried about?

Needless to say, this website is my party, you are my invited guests, and I guess this blog is the dip? Maybe?

And anyway, I am just so happy you are here! Really, it means the world to me. 

For those of you uninitiated, I'm Christy and I used to run a blog called Avoiding Atrophy. It was a fun place where I wrote about all sorts of things -- travel, television, breakfast -- you name it. The sky was the limit. 

And that's sort of what brings me here. I'm at a point in this blogging journey where I'm ready to settle down with just a few key topics. Why exactly? Because boundaries are important, that's why.

But even more than that, I am excited to dig really deep into some subjects that I truly care about. So on this blog, you're going to find me writing about two things: Creativity and Confidence, with some bits & pieces of my life nudged in between (I toyed with eliminating the life portion of my blog, but who am I kidding? I still want to be able to tell you about when I go apple picking). 

So why creativity & confidence? Honestly, these are two themes that have been so major in my life over the last few years that I can't help but write about them. In pursuing creative work, I've experienced first hand how easily self-worth can get distorted. But I've also seen the flip side. I've seen how a strong sense of purpose and an I'm-Crushing-It-You're-Crushing-It-We're-All-Crushing-It attitude leads to incredible things -- creativity, of course, but also joy, friendship, compassion, and frickin miracles.

And so I want to talk about this flip side, this positive arc of the story where Creativity fuels Confidence and Confidence fuels Creativity and amazing things are made by joyful people. So yeah, that's what I'll be talking about here.

And in fact, I've already started. I've loaded up two blog posts [1,2] before this one that actually used to live on Avoiding Atrophy. If you've never read them before, great! If you have read them, you're still in luck. I've added a couple of extras to both that I think you're going to dig.

I've also got a bit of a teaser for an upcoming course I'm creating called Do The Damn Thing. If you're interested in accomplishing creative goals and just being generally amazing, you should probably check that out. 

And then of course, there's the workbook I recently created: Your Dreams Aren't Dumb. If you want to realize which of your ambitions are dumb and which aren't (most aren't), go ahead and snag that thing up. 

Anyway, all of this leads me to one final distinction about what makes this party different from my last party: at this party, I'm making stuff for you! Not just blog posts, but I'm making tons of other resources to help you 1) like yourself and 2) make great things. It's going to be a blast.

So stick around, try the dip, belt out Total Eclipse Of The Heart on the karaoke machine. And while you're doing that, why not invite some other people to join this party? 

So who are YOU? What's your deal?