How To Make Your Creative Work Resonate More With Your Audience
When do we enjoy a musical or a concert or other forms of creative self-expression most? What is it about them that makes us drop our jaws in awe, our pupils widen, chills tickle every area of our body and we forget where we are? Why do we get mad, frustrated or emotional over a collection of words put together by a random stranger on the internet?
Your creative work is to be interpreted by the audience. To find out how it is perceived by others, creative works need to be shared, no matter your intention when you created it. The collective audience doesn’t need to have a shared experience. Your interpretation of someone else’s modern art with an acrylic blob on a canvas might be “that it’s a blob”. Someone else might see the world’s creation in it.
Dance is a sport and art that is close to me. I’ve dreamt of dancing in a crew, but never made it to one. The critique-scared shy girl in me still gets complete black outs during group splits at dance class, where one group sits down and watches the other group perform. Not being able to let go and deliver a well-executed choreography on demand has screwed up my chances during crew auditions, despite the fact that I’ve been taking dance lessons on and off for nearly a decade. If you can’t even perform during group split at the dance studio, how will you manage to get through a live performance?
Recently I’ve discovered part of the issue: lack of self-esteem and plainly worrying too much about other people’s opinions. But, to make a any performance believable, you need to put your heart into it.
If you hold back, it shows. Others can tell, see and feel it. You feel yourself that you’re not giving it the best you have, and that you’re holding back, where there is so much more to give.
You are scared. You’re holding back, out of fear of making a mistake, and getting those harsh comments you fear so much. This is doing yourself a disservice and a waste of opportunity, to share and connect with others.
Anyone can mechanically follow a choreography and copy the moves. The heart and intention put behind each move is what makes a dance performance come to life. There can’t be any holding back, not in the execution of the movements, nor in the expressed emotions.
I compare this to writing. In the end, it comes down to the same thing. If you were to share a deeply personal story, what good would it be to hold back? Of course you choose how much of your story to share.
Wouldn’t it be beautiful to richly illustrate your story with details that take your audience down the stairs into the depth of your mind?
To share how one emotion erupted and made room for the next, and how all of these combined make up parts of the whole story?
Anything written piece, photo or video you share online could receive backlash, unwelcomed opinions or harsh judgement. But the individual chooses whether to let it stop them in their tracks, or continue on their path, and express themselves regardless. The fear of judgement will always be there to some extent.
You can create and keep it all to yourself. But what if an audience makes your piece better?
Brian Esperon has been a choreographer long before he created the WAP dance (yes, the WAP dance). He couldn’t have known this was the piece that would make him blow up on Social Media. You never know what might happen or when, and this is why it’s so important to keep creating. And sharing.
I don’t know if this piece will do well. I can’t predict how the next one will perform either. All I know is that I will get my answers if I dare to share what is inside of me.
Don’t hold back when expressing yourself. Give more of yourself to the world. It’ll give your audience a chance to connect with your work more deeply.