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Lean into your creative content

Creating for a hobby, and creating for a living are sometimes different. But this advice is applicable regardless of your focus.

The advice is very straightforward, and this is the takeaway if you don't want to read the explanation -

Lean into your content creation because that's how you learn.

A live example, and I'm writing this directly after the moment in which it happened, I needed to do an update that said 'thank you' for the successful funding of Trouble on Helanga on Kickstarter:

In the last 12 hours of the campaign, it leapt forward and passed the final stretch goal which is for a secret reward.

Knowing that I wanted to say thank you today, which was the day the campaign ended, but I didn't want to announce the details of the secret reward, I wanted to make the Secret Reward a bit more theatrical, and in-game. That way, hopefully, no one was disappointed that they have to wait to find out the details, and have been entertained a little in the process. So I wrote the following:

Secret Stretch Goal

Imagine that the signal has come through to your ship, it is encoded and your machine is busy unlocking the message... unlike in say Mission Impossible where codes are broken instantly, this will take just a little longer. In other words, I will announce the details in the next week or so. Everyone benefits though, let me say that.

I also spent about ten minutes creating the picture that headlines this article. To do it as I wanted it, I had to look up how to add text to Midjourney more reliably. I knew that version 6 had stepped up its accuracy with text but I was only having middling success. I googled it, read a blog: ( and was able to produce what I wanted.

And that is what I mean when I say lean into your content creation. I didn't have to spend ten minutes on the image, heck, I didn't have to add an image at all to an update saying thank you, nor did I have to spend an hour on the update in total... But, by doing so, a) it makes the update better, b) surely that is the correct and respectful thing to do - make an effort to say thank you when people support you and c) the more you write and create, the better you become.

I couldn't tell you how many updates I have put out over the 55+ campaigns that I have run in the last four years but I do know that I have spent hundreds of hours on them over the time. Most of them have an illustration (although not all are made just for the update, some come from the campaign art) and I aim to write them all in as entertaining a way as possible, whilst also being informative.

I believe good updates are a part of the job when you use Kickstarter to sell your products but I don't see it as a chore, I see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn and develop my creative craft and directly communicate with the backers in a way that the product doesn't.

It might be you don't use Kickstarter, but you sell on Etsy and post items to people, so the same logic applies. How are your items boxed, wrapped and sealed? Do they have a thank you card or do they have a sticker or some other creative touch that pushes you to think, create and learn?

And for yourself, is your creating space laid out with thought and care? Taking on the challenge of organising your space, whether your digital assets or physical ones, will pay huge benefits if you do it with care and thought. It will help you prioritise and understand your craft better.

Creating content helps you improve, but leaning into your content creation will teach you other things, and move you forward in ways you don't expect.

Until next time, be creative. Stephen


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