Give people permission, start now

Although we've arrived at a time when aspiring creative types can start platforms on the internet and be taken seriously if their work is engaging and insightful enough, it seems to me that many creatives are still waiting for permission to start.

At an important juncture in my life as a creative, I heard Seth Godin speak. At the time, he challenged everyone in the room (I'm paraphrasing here): the time to start sharing your work is now. If you're a writer, start a blog. If you're a musician, record your music on a laptop and start passing out CDs. If you're a designer or a painter, start a web portfolio. Now is the time to start creating and sharing your art.

At the time, this was the kind of empowering permission I needed to start sharing my creativity. It helped me stop feeling like I needed to be paid to do what I was passionate about before showing people my work. Years later, I'm working in position that uses these passions. But this didn't happen over night. It took time, effort, mistakes, and many unread blogs and sub-par songs.

And it also took someone giving me permission to start.

In the last two weeks I have spoken with two aspiring writers who told me they didn't have personal blogs. The reason why, both said, was because they didn't think anybody would want to read what they had to say. So I proceeded to argue them into considering the possibility that they'll never know if they don't try.

Basically, I gave them permission to start, and both left my office with a glint in their eyes. It was the same glint I had by the conclusion of Godin's talk that I heard years ago.

Are you giving people permission to start? You should be.

Are you waiting to get permission to start sharing your work?  You shouldn't be.