This is where I write to you from

this is where I write to you from. fairy lights make everything good.

I’ve been feeling lately that I am falling into a weird and slightly uncomfortable hole, which we’ll call ‘being the teacher’, for the sake of clarity. And I want to talk about it to make something clear, perhaps to myself as much as to you.

It’s true that I make art, I’ve written a book, and I’ve created an ecourse, which has already run one very successful time so far.

It’s also true that this year I have finally found in myself and in the outward elements of my life an alignment which is now allowing me to begin to do what I’ve been dreaming of all along; to make art, to be creative in all the ways that I am, and to share what I’ve learned so that others might reap the benefits of reconnecting to their artist selves in a way that can potentially earn me a living.

And that is all astonishing and heart expanding and all the good things.

Here comes the icky part.

In stepping up in these ways, in being more visible to more people {and therefore more vulnerable in some ways}, I have somehow put myself in a position of teacher.

I actually don’t want to ~ or perhaps simply don’t feel ready to ~ be called a teacher. It makes me feel like a fraud, and maybe that’s just my own inner crap to work on and getting down to semantics, but nevertheless it feels uncomfortable, like a coat that I haven’t grown into yet.

Ironically, I am in fact a qualified teacher, of small children. The things I am not are: a life coach, a {formally trained} teacher of adults, an art teacher, a creativity coach {although I find myself drawn to that idea so we’ll see about that one}, or someone who knows everything. And it’s starting to feel like I either should be one or all of these things, or that I’m giving the impression that I think I am.

While I don’t doubt that what I offer in my ecourse has genuine value from being rooted in years of experience and a natural empathy and compassion that I’m not going to be modest about, I am uncomfortable with the dichotomy created by that. The one that positions me as some kind of authority.

And because I am also {hopefully} building a little sustainable business around this, that means I need to ‘put myself out there’, so that more people who might be helped and supported by what I do can find me. And that means things like guest posting on other websites and blogs, learning to use social media for more than just fun sharing, and all the other various means of marketing yourself online.

I love to write as much as I love to paint, so sharing what I learn on my blog has always been fun and easy for me, as was writing the book. But now I find myself treading on thin ice; how can I create something tangible and income generating if I am not in some way an authority on what I do?  If I’m often feeling fraudulent underneath, how can I bring the best energy to what I do put out there?

Obviously I know some things that a beginner on the artistic or creative path may not know yet. That’s where I can be useful. But I always see myself as ALONGSIDE, not standing at the front of the classroom dictating. {Possibly partly from my Montessori training.}

So when I write posts or articles about what I know, or create lessons for my course, it’s always from a place of  ‘I know this because I’ve been through it, and these are some ideas or solutions that I discovered along the way’. Not because I am someone who ‘used to experience this and is now perfect so can impart wisdom onto those who haven’t yet reached the dizzy heights of my awesomeness.’

And yet I fear that sometimes I sound like I’m making statements of Ultimate Truth, or becoming someone who hands out the answers as if I have them all.

I have no idea how to not do this {yet}! I hope that my ‘alongside-ness’ is implicit but some of what I write sounds bossy and know-it-all to me. I’m working on it. Daily. Balancing what I genuinely want to share with what I need to do to grow this little biz feels sometimes very awkward and clumsy.

There’s no neat conclusion to this post. {Thank god! Sometimes the pressure to make one is very annoying!} I always intend to be honest and transparent; I’m not a machine, I’m still learning many things and always will be, and I hope that what I do and say shows integrity and helps the people who might need it.

But the relief of admitting this, of allowing myself to reveal what may not be evident but has been weighing on me lately, makes me feel able to continue the best way I can. So thank you for bearing with me while I navigate this new terrain, and I hope that you always find something interesting, inspiring, comforting or useful here.

**********

Edit: A couple of days after writing this, I found this article, by Susan Piver, who has essentially gathered up my awkward unease and transmuted it into something potentially very beautiful. If I needed a sign I was headed in the right direction, that was very timely.

Creative Spark: The Ecourse {ignite your inner artist} is an instant access online class for creative beginners, all about uncovering and restoring your creative confidence. If you are secretly longing to have a go at something arty, or bring more creativity into your life but don’t know where to start, or have fears about your abilities in this area, this may be just what you’re looking for. Click here for further details and to sign up.

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