31 Days of Accidental Mastery
For May, I wrote an email every day and sent it out to my email list. Topics ranged from everything I had learned in the early part of my career (which I’m maybe calling “finished”?) including thoughts on writing, creativity, freelancing, dealing with clients, being creative on demand, publishing, producing, and so much more.
I called it 31 Days of Accidental Mastery. It’s over now. The last email went out this morning. I’ll let you know if I ever do anything like it again.
Now comes time for a bit of reflection. Asking myself: why did I do all of that? Was it worth it?
Clarity comes through craftsmanship, and craftsmanship comes through repetitive work on the same ideas over and over again. At some point, you can look at the stuff you’ve always been looking at, but now they seem much more clear - clarity.
My ideal objectives:
Between the cross-country move and a client in every vertical, I needed to find some clarity. See the forest for the trees again. I knew creating something brand new, every day, on a deadline was the best way to get there.
I needed to get less-shy about emailing people and using my email list to engage with people.
I needed to learn how to refine my writing style to get to the point - especially in the marketing channels. Can I tell the same story with half as many words? Not only so I could write them faster, but so they could be consumed easier?
I wanted to know what the next step was. For me, this almost always happens after an extensive creative project, just like 31 Days of Accidental Mastery. Just like after my 365 Project from years ago.
My email list refined itself for me. Before I started, I opened it up for anyone and everyone to join. It was totally free. When you send out something every day, you get enough of a data set to see who gives a damn about what you are working on, and who could care less (or who doesn’t care about what shows up via email). I now know who reads everything and is ready to support my next move. I also know who has been weighing me down.
I’ve learned most people are stuck between zero and one. They want to make something, but they either don’t know where to start or are waiting for permission to do so.
I am back in the habit of writing daily. I’ve always been writing, but now I have figured out how to carve out time for myself, my own writing, to see what can come of this.
Writing every day is a deliberate practice of looking backward and forward through time to gain a better assessment of “now.” It requires careful observation and getting lost in other people’s work to figure out what your own ideas are.
I discovered there were some clients and projects I was never really interested in (beyond the money tied to them). This led to me unearthing the Content For The Greater Good files I started drafting eons ago. Those files led to me determining I needed to make the shift from copywriter to Creative Director.
And more, so much more.
Tune in tomorrow to keep on with this story.