Owning It (Or Something Like That): On Creating Content & Following Through

san francisco rooftop

I still get sweaty and somewhat flushed and definitely nervous when presenting my written work aloud. While these things happen to varying degrees depending on any number of factors including how much sleep I’ve gotten, how much coffee I’ve consumed, how much I’ve practiced, and whether or not I’m currently releasing bits of uterine lining (sometimes this = superheroine strength, focus, and confidence; other times it = feelings of inadequacy and unmistakably awkward blobbiness). It could be my husband or my mom or a small sea of open-mic-goers or the clients for whom I’m creating content—no matter the audience, I usually sweat and get red, even if only slightly detectable. Fortunately, for the most part, I’ve also stopped caring that these things happen. OK, I care a little, but I do my best not to let it distract me from delivering what I want to deliver. 

That is, more and more I’m owning what I create. I’m not apologizing for it ahead of time, and I’m knowing that, while of course there will be things to work on and that need massaging, what I create, the content we create here at RePresent, is good. In fact, it’s more than good. 

Yeah, it has taken me and is still taking me, and probably will continue to take me, some minutes to feel this rooted and real sense of… confidence, to experience it as something real, or almost real. But continuing to create content and present it, to practice that, has helped me to push forward through the sweating and the redding. And pushing forward through the sweating and the redding, in turn, has helped me to gather confidence in a way that’s like collecting mermaids toenails on a Jersey shoreline at dusk. It’s scattered, sometimes slow; it’s fulfilling and cumulative; sometimes I’m squinting as the night weighs in.    

Maybe there are a lot of folks who just “wake up like this” (hmmm, in juxtaposition to Bey’s, I’m thinking of Sarah Haji’s words: Lord, give me the confidence of a mediocre white man.). But, I don’t know, maybe that statement is also unfair. So often, we only see or present or are given the finished product. We view the aftereffect of long hours spent polishing, editing, practicing, doubting, standing tall, doubting again, honing, refining, distilling, scrapping, starting over, giving up, taking back giving up, plowing forward, feeling, dreaming, working, and then, eventually, delivering. Out loud. Or in person. 

I am enamored with the tempest of process that takes place before an emergence. Depending on the project in question, I think I might relish the storm even more than the final product itself. Or maybe I’m just into the whole shebang of seeing a worthwhile thing through. The tempest, whatever yours is, the pushing through the sweating and the redding in order to get at what you want to say. The saying of your self, the externalization of a small-boom of a voice, regardless of how it’s heard, by your loving partner or by the entire fucking world.