We seek creative communities (and other communities) for identity validation and protection. As far back as childhood, kids try getting noticed by the popular crowd. Acceptance is a warm feeling.
But, there are always barriers to keep the unworthy out. It’s these barriers that motivate some and crumble others.
Creative communities are some of the hardest to break into because numeric test scores or personality don’t dictate acceptance. Creative communities test you on your originality and your ability to evoke emotion. “Does this person add something meaningful to our ongoing narrative?”
For this reason, it’s hard getting noticed for your creative efforts because you are doing something in a new way. And if you conform to the group then you are a fraud, a copier, or unoriginal.
So, every Creative faces this dilemma of staying original. It takes a lot of time to get noticed for doing things “your way”. But, when they accept you, they are accepting your identity and not a manufactured one.
The only way to break into creative communities is to stay consistent, be persistent, and always work towards improving.
Getting Noticed by Reddit’s Creative Communities
Reddit, coined “the internet’s comments section”, is a great example. Reddit boasts over 600,000 communities, having a chat room for anything you can imagine.
You’d expect it to be easy to join one of these communities since there are so many of them. But it’s not. Each community is tight-knit and governed by its own set of rules. This makes them very hard to break into. Before you can even post in a Reddit community, you have to spend a tremendous amount of time interacting there. Even after accepted you still face the possibility of your peers outcasting you. Reddit is easily the hardest social media to “crack”.
We can hope and pray to get into the communities we desire. Although, it comes down to the decision of the people that “own” them – the gatekeepers. Seeking the approval of these gatekeepers can be distracting and depressing. So, the best thing you can do is to continue honing your craft and not worrying about acceptance.
Personally, I haven’t always liked my writing. Teachers never chose my work to read aloud. I hated even the thought of putting pen to paper. But, I wanted (still want) to change that and become a more eloquent writer.
So, every day for the past year, I wrote. I wrote descriptions about art, sales emails, and a firsthand account of our failed startup. Now, I write articles about technology and creativity.
To my disbelief, LinkedIn recognized me as a Top 10 Technology Writer of 2016.
While I’m proud to have achieved my goal, I still want to improve. Michael Jordan didn’t stop after winning his first championship in 1991. You shouldn’t stop after you achieve your first goal.
Have more goals lined up, so when you achieve one, there is another star to shoot for.
The best thing a Creative can do is continue their path towards improvement, always following their compass of originality.
Growing Quick Theories – my weekly technology newsletter – has tested me many times. But, I’ve always stayed the course because I want the best for my readers. If Quick Theories sounds interesting, I’d love it if you signed-up here: quicktheories.com