Hi friends! I recently was sent an advanced copy of an amazing book that I really enjoyed. Adam J. Kurtz is an artist in New York City and he wrote "Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives". I really enjoyed gaining some insight into his career through his advice. As you guys know, I pursue my blog and my Instagram full-time and even though it's a lot of work it's been super rewarding because of the following I've gained, the companies I've been able to work with and, most importantly, being able to connect with all of you!
It definitely has it's hard times but I know that being creative is something that I need to do in every aspect of my life or I won't be the best version of myself. The life lesson I always try to live by is to do something with the intention of it making me a better me and this book has a lot of sound advice from a successful creative entrepreneur so I definitely recommend it! PLUS: if you pre-order the book, $1/copy will be going to an amazing charity, The Tegan And Sara Foundation, which helps LGBTQ women and girls.
Here are my 6 favorite "pages" or "tips" from Adam's book:
Starting my blog was half the battle. Having the courage and being able to say "hey, this is what I'm gonna do" was the hardest part for me. There's a lot of throwing something out there and then throwing your phone behind it because I get nervous of what people are gonna think of the content I create, the things I'm writing or the way I edit my photos but doing it and walking away is how I began. I started my blog as a creative outlet while working in a dead-end job and absolutely hating it. I knew I needed something outside of what I was doing to fulfill me and taking the time away from my job and focusing on a passion project was the best thing for me then. My advice, bite the bullet, because it'll be worth it in the end.
#Relatable content is what I do best! Right? No? Maybe? Ok. Being authentic is probably the biggest hurdle I've had in my life. Whether it be from coming out to deciding what I want to do in my life, taking that step is really hard. When we graduate college we're primed to think that we should have it all figured out. That wasn't the case for me and it's not the case for a lot of people. I think relatable content is any content where you're being your authentic self and people recognize that truth, whether it be in your writing, your photography, your art etc.
I always looked online for inspiration, not in a way where I aspire to be the people I'm watching on YouTube or following on Instagram though. I looked at them more as an inspiration of following your own heart and creating your own destiny. It's cheesy and it's corny but taking the reign's in your own life is something I didn't do until I started my blog and started being more creative online through photography and fashion and experiencing new things when I was able to travel on assignment. Community over competition is a huge movement right now, especially in this political climate, and in the blogging community I've found a ton of people to lean on, work with and gain inspiration from. Being a creative has it's challenges but a lack of community is definitely not one, especially when it's an online community.
It's all about positivity and confidence, looking at life as the glass half-full. Realizing that you have what it takes and that you are good enough is something I've had to come to terms with my entire life. Graduating from college and having virtually no clue what I want to do was something that was really challenging, especially seeing all of my friends move on to new jobs and new cities. It took me being at home with my parents for a while to realize that sitting in a cubicle everyday wasn't for me then, and never would be for me. So then what? Do what you love, my mom said. The support she and my dad gave me, as well as my friends, is what really pushed me to pursue the things that I liked doing, writing and photography, fashion and travel. These passions are good enough and special enough for me to create my own career and build my own life around.
Constantly being inspired is how I focus my power. Being surrounded by my friends and family is how I stay creative in an over-saturated world. There's so many people who do what I do and blog and have an Instagram page but knowing that my work is different, that my audience is unique and that the things I do resonate with so many people is something that makes me keep going.
NEVER EVER STOPPING. It's corny but it's true. I've had times where I've said fuck this and stopped writing or taken a break from my Instagram and applied to a million jobs online only to realize I didn't want to work for someone else. Working for myself is the most rewarding job I've ever had because in that, I support myself and hold myself completely accountable. If I'm not making money or getting work it's my own fault, no one elses. I've learned that being me and doing what I'm passionate about holds it's own power. There's not many people my age who are working and doing something that they truly love to do. It's true what they say, when your passionate about your work, it doesn't feel like work. I wake up in the morning (granted it's probably later than office jobs) and look forward to another day of pitching, writing and creating. That's why I'm winning and that's why I'm happy at where I am in life.
Reading Adam's book and being so inspired by it has shot a spark through me and made me realize that doing this has been such a blessing. Making my own business and creating my own happiness and success (however you may define success) has been so rewarding and I wouldn't change it for a thing. These were just some of many many amazing quotes that really inspired me and made me want to pursue more things in life and through my career. If you're a creative you need to read this book and if you're not a creative, it's a book that inspires creativity. I'm not saying that everyone needs to follow my path, quit their job and follow their passions but if you don't have anything in life that you're passionate about, this book will make you realize that you need to pursue something you love.
Make sure you pre-order the book before 10/3 so $1 will be donated to an amazing cause. Thanks Adam for sending me an advanced copy and for giving me the opportunity to read your book!
As always, feel free to reach out to me if you guys have any questions about the book, me, my blog or anything that comes to your mind.