Books, courses, blog posts, podcasts – there is no shortage of how-to information out there. I love living in a world where you can learn anything you want to know. It’s amazing that I can find an article, or several articles, on how to write a blog post or a book or an essay.

And then it becomes too much.

The easy accessibility to someone else’s path to success becomes a problem when it’s what you rely on, when it’s a crutch, when it stifles your own imagination and creativity. When it suppresses your own ideas of what your path can look like.

The people we follow who promise everything are often the exception, the 1% who made it to where we want to be. And while their advice is valuable, it can’t be everything you rely on.

I’m plenty guilty of this with writing. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on a blogging course, one that I knew up front didn’t quite align with my values but it was so highly recommended. I read interviews of authors or bloggers who have made it big and immediately try to find out everything about them and how they got there, not even bothering to look at their actual work. I’ll sign up for any course they put out there because surely if I follow every step I’ll get there too.

It becomes less about the output – the finished piece of writing – and more about the process. Someone else’s process.

What would happen if we tried things our own way?

Haven’t we read enough how-to posts and taken enough courses to have a good idea of how things work? Can we take a break from the processes of others and start looking at their finished products instead, the work that inspired us to write in the first place?

Consume for inspiration. Learn from the output. Study it, break it down, and see why it’s so good. Talk about it with others. Ask questions – what do other readers take away from it?

Create your own curriculum by studying the outputs of those you admire. Then make your own process. Let your own voice come through while you carve your own path.

We already have all the answers we need. We know the basic how-to’s. We just need to be willing to take a risk, be willing to fail. It’s time to stop suppressing our own creativity, stop bogging it down with the technicalities, and give ourselves a lot more credit.

There comes a point when it’s time to see what you’re made of, not what a course made you.

 

Balancing Learning with Creating

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