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What is the top problem you're facing as a creator?

Nathan Lowell 🌟Community Influencer 🌟
I voted Something Else.

I know how to create a product. Because each novel is a unique product I keep it all fresh and moving by occasionally opening a new set of story lines in one or more of my genre niches.

I'm very happy with the rate my list grows organically. My goal is to have a very responsive list, not a very large one. So far, it's working.

I know how to market my product. I have people clamoring for the next one.

Staying motivated during challenging times is easy. Staying motivated during the *boring* times is the real challenge.

I only use a fraction of CK's tools because they do exactly what I need and I don't have unmet needs for CK to address.

My big challenge is keeping myself fresh and motivated to start the next book, to publish the last one. Finding ways to keep myself walking when the trail turns into a treadmill and I have to do it all again.
Haley C Community Host ☕️🤓
Nathan Lowell this is GREAT insight. What tools or practices have you found work better than others? Any favorites?

Do you feel that providing motivation is something you would want to see out of a creator platform like ConvertKit, or something you look to build more intrinsically?
Nathan Lowell 🌟Community Influencer 🌟
I'm intrinsically motivated, that means any motivation has to come from within me. Deadlines don't work, even self-imposed ones. Schedules can work but only up to a point. Planning is pointless for me. I use it - along with house cleaning - to keep from doing the real work of writing and publishing.

Some things that do work, eventually.

1. I know that my energy cycles. It can be very high for weeks, even months at a shot. It crashes after that and I have trouble getting motivated to do more than get a fresh cup of coffee and doom scroll on social media. I used to fight it but now that I realize it's part of the larger process, I just lean into it. Even doing nothing gets boring after awhile. If I can bore myself faster, the energy to do something else takes over.

2. I read a lot - mostly in my genre niches. I think I'm over 160 titles this year with some weeks left to go. Reading somebody else's work takes me out of my own head. If it's a really good book, I can lose myself in it. If it's a so-so book, I can often find something that the author did well that I can use. If it's a laughably horrible book, I find ways that even really bad books can tell an interesting story. I've come to believe that there are no bad books. Only books that weren't meant for certain readers.

3. I play video games. Mostly single player because I haven't the patience to deal with others when I don't have energy to deal with myself. Being alone in the game - telling myself stories about how this Commander Shepard thinks about his crew or that Wood Elf approaches the idea of slaying Alduin - lets my mind toy with ideas without having to show my work, as it were, by writing a story about it that somebody else will read.

4. I try to find something tangential, something I ignored or didn't take care of when I had a lot of energy. I chip away at it. I'll set up the ISBN one day. It takes like five minutes. I'll maybe format a book that needs it's paperback edition published another day. I'll get the barcode on the cover and publish it a couple of days later. Something small. Something that's progress. Something I can do while the next pot of coffee is brewing. Just something. Even just laundry.

5. I walk. I try to walk 2 miles every day. I've turned it into a team sport with my readers who know I publish a podcast any day that I put a specific picture on Twitter. The exercise helps with so much. It helps build my energy to use my muscles instead of my mind.

6. I think about the topics that matter to me. The non-fiction, writer/publisher stuff that I don't put out to my fiction fan base. I publish them as blog posts - or here on CK as community posts and in the Writer's Mastermind group. I try to help somebody else. I don't know if it helps them but it helps me by making me think about, write about, solidify my own beliefs and practices about art, creativity, business, and writing.

I think what ConvertKit can offer is - oddly enough - community. It's not going to be a button to push or a form to fill out. It's going to take time for people who care about the things they do to come together to talk about The Work of creation as much as The Business of it.

Most people who come here are only here for the tools, the lists, the growth, the development. I get that. It's valuable. Starting out is way more exciting that pushing into the tenth or twelfth or twentieth year of creation. It's why I restart games with new characters all the time. It's why I start writing in a new genre niche.

Eventually, the community will grow and mature so that enough people will know how to grow their lists. They'll know when messing with the landing page doesn't actually help any more. They'll move on to helping others on the path, to comparing notes, and to offering insight into the long haul of a creative career in the various groups and forum here on what I call the "community side of the house."

But that's just me.
Haley C Community Host ☕️🤓
Nathan Lowell this was so great- all of it. I love how you described all the different ways you essentially take care of yourself so that the longevity of being a creator can continue. You have incredible self-awareness, and you've outlined some pertinent tools to utilize depending on what you need in that moment or 'season'.

I especially loved reading your thoughts on our community, and I completely agree with you. The more seasoned creators, like yourself, share your experiences, advice, and thoughts, the more this side of the 'house' can grow and mature. I love that you can see this too!
Tanya
I voted for How to Best Use CK for my needs, because I am remapping out a client journey and am eager to utilize CK Commerce to make it simple for them, and for me. I am getting to know the use of tags, and am searching resources her to understand all CK has to offer. Last webinar I watched was the automate your business one, and I am looking to utilize the info more! Thanks for a great community.
Haley C Community Host ☕️🤓
Tanya thanks for responding and for sharing more details behind your answer! As you're learning and working through this process, you can always feel free to share where you're at here, with the community, as well. There are so many awesome creators here who will help you with feedback, support, and general good nature too. 😃Glad you're here, Tanya!
Sabrina
Hey Haley C , thanks for posting this question! I feel the older I get, the days get shorter. My side hustle brings me so much joy, but it always seems to be the last thing I get to. That's my top problem. Some other problems are 1) my motivation comes in waves and 2) I currently have so many ideas that I don't know which projects to start first. Anyone else feel the same?
Haley C Community Host ☕️🤓
Sabrina I definitely feel this.
Nathan Lowell 🌟Community Influencer 🌟
Sabrina Definitely.

Waves is a good analogy.
yannakostidis
Even though I put down staying motivated during tough times, I actually have a few more, that maybe others can relate: creating a product and service that others actually want, need and will happily pay for, and then marketing that product in a way in which the right people want, and doing this while communicating my message and growing an email list of people who want to hear more from me. Anyone else having these issues? Because I think setting up a successful business requires all of the above to be working together?
Nathan Lowell 🌟Community Influencer 🌟
yannakostidis exactly.

That's the core of marketing - determining where a market exists and how to reach it. Too many people start with the product and not with the market.
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