I am hitting CMD + Z on my creative journey. Things have changed. What mattered to me when I first started as a designer/developer no longer means anything. I have known this for a while and made a lot of changes in my life, but the way I build things in the digital world has not adapted much.
And my creativity has suffered.
I used to constantly be flexing my creative muscles. But now I am scared.
When I first started to teach myself design and front-end development I knew that no matter what, I could always hit CMD + Z. If the new line of code I added broke everything, CMD + Z. If that color just didn’t look right in the design, CMD + Z.
Knowing I could always go back a state or 2 (or sometimes many more) gave me a piece of mind and creative freedom. I was not afraid to try new things. After all, if they sucked I just hit CMD + Z.
I have had the idea for a personal site for a LONG time. But never started it. I knew that websites could make money, so every website I made had to make me money. If it didn’t, why was I wasting my time?
I need to hit CMD + Z repeatedly until I go back to just before I learned about websites making money. Back then I used to make websites just for the fun of it. I would try new techniques, new layouts, whatever was in my head. Now I use layouts that are common because they are proven to be best practices; they work.
I know that having a signup form and growing an email list is a must for every site. I know that site speed matters. I know that people create youtube videos that go viral. I know that people make a lot of money from websites.
Knowing all these things is holding me back.
I didn’t start my personal site (this site) because I didn’t have a good idea for an email list. I sometimes don’t try new techniques like CSS animations because I am afraid of how they will affect performance. I have a lot of front end design tutorials already recorded on my computer but never posted to YouTube because I constantly compare them to other YouTubers videos. I didn’t start this website because I was not sure how it would help me make money.
But what if I hit CMD + Z till I forgot all the limiting beliefs above…
What if i don’t care that nobody watches, nobody reads . What if i just do it for the thrills, to learn something new.
I have always learned by doing. So at the very least, I will learn a lot.
If I hit CMD + Z enough times I will go back to when I didn’t know about conversion rates and the best way to grow an email list. Back to when I didn’t know youtube videos should have intros and outros, or all blog posts should be at least 500 words. Back to when I created for the sake of creating. I learned as I went.
I am going to teach the things I learn because it brings me joy to teach people. I am going to start at the beginning and see where that takes me.
This website is going to be my personal sandbox. That may mean it’s really small and only needs enough room for me or it may mean that I will need to expand my sandbox to let others join in on the fun.
The point is, that I have a sandbox and I am going to use it.
Passing the keyboard to you
It is now your turn to hit CMD + Z. Go back to before you knew something that is holding you back. Create for the sake of creating. Build that crazy idea even if it has no point. Try new things so you can expand your knowledge. And when it doesn’t work, just hit CMD + Z.
So… this is the part where most sites have a signup box. Eventually I may have one too. But for now, I don’t.
I do have an email list, so if you want to follow along with me and see where this journey takes me, you can sign up here. What is really cool (for you) is you are getting in on the ground floor. So, some day you may be able to say, I was following Chris before it was cool. I may even get stickers made and send them out. You will not want to miss them.
So let’s hit CMD + Z together and start creating for the sake of creating!