What Your Online Presence can Learn from a Master of Fine Arts

Creativity is Hard

One of my very best friends, Rena Detrixhe, is a painter and sculptor. She makes huge, gorgeous works out of tiny, beautiful, everyday things.

Which I think is a pretty good metaphor for blogging. 

Rena working on Come Look Listen

This is her working on one of her pieces entitled "Heirlooms" which has functioned as a platform for public conversation about the relationship between art and environment. For this body of work she made tapestries, tablecloths and rugs out of natural objects like seeds and leaves that she found on her way to school and work everyday.

As a real estate agent, that would be the ideal situation for your blogging right? Imagine:

"You are out an about in the community - taking the kids to school, showing houses, volunteering. Then, at the end of the day you take your experiences and effortless turn them into a meaningful blog post. Viola!"

Why is it never this easy?

If you have ever seen an artist work, they make it seem effortless. They are able to create beautiful works that make a serious statement, and they make it look as natural as breathing. Trust me though, that is not the case.

Being creative is hard. Real hard. And being creative on a consistent basis? That's like crossfit for your soul. But artists know this and have a secret to rise to this challenge. 

Go Be in Your Studio

If you aren't in your studio, interacting with your medium, you will never make art. One of Rena's professor gave her this advice when she was getting ready to graduate. She told her that she needed to take two hours everyday to just go be in her studio, because if she didn't make time for herself to be creative, life would just get in the way and always distract her from being an artist. Rena told me this story just in passing, and its always really stuck with me. 

Checking off to-do lists, organizing contracts, and solving customer problems are all really important activities that an agent does, but none of them are really requiring your creativity. Creativity is like a muscle. You have to work it and build it up in order to do big things with it.

So, if you are serious about making blogging a core piece of your marketing efforts, you have to make time to go be in your studio!

How to Give Your Creativity a Workout

Just like going to the regular gym, you need to set aside time to work your creativity on a regular basis so it doesn't wither.

First, block out a 2 hour time period you can commit to every week. 

Then, During that time:

  • Go to your office
  • Close the door
  • Shut the blinds
  • Silence your phone
  • Close all your internet browsers and programs

Finally, open your blogging program and write. Don't stop until you have a post and are ready to hit the publish button, OR your 2 hours are up. 

Don't go get another cup of coffee. Don't check Facebook. Don't pass Go or Collect $200. 

Just write a blog post. 

Can't think of anything to write about? No excuse! Here's 300 ideas from real estate knowledgebase ActiveRain

Think your posts aren't as good as Inman News? Who cares!? This is supposed to be practice. You'll get better.

Have you spent 2 months doing this and still don't have a completed draft? Ok, that is frustrating. Try focusing your posts with these 3 handy mind tricks. They really made a difference for me!

Make it Look Easy

Like any diet or exercise routine, sure, you can keep this up for a few months, but are you expected to do this forever? Of course not. 

Remember that ideal world, where you could effortlessly take your daily experiences and turn them into meaningful blog posts? That's still the goal!

You won't always have to lock yourself away from the world in order to get a post done. Eventually your creative muscle will be strong enough that the process will come more naturally. You will sit down to write a post when inspiration strikes you, because it will be just as easy as answering that text or checking your email. It will be just as much a part of your habitual process. 

But hey, the life of a real estate agent can get crazy! There will probably be a time when you find you've stopped blogging regularly or its getting harder to get your creative side in gear to finish a post. It happens! 

Don't give in to the chaos and instead take some time to go be in your studio!


About the Artist

Rena Detrixhe is an Artist in Residence with the Charlotte Street Foundation's Urban Culture Project. She lives in Kansas City, KS. To see more of Rena's work, visit her at renadetrixhe.com/

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