This year I’ve had to retool my reliance on my own built-in brilliance and focus more on “Product Development,” which isn’t nearly as natural, flowy or exciting. But necessary! The Lord tends to give us, as Christian creatives, all sorts of great ideas, insights and true revelations. So far, I’ve tended to share these little gems in the simplest possible ways. But! This past year found me creating my first online course instead of hosting an in-person workshop or collaborating on a poetry retreat with good friends. This was a very different road to have travelled.
While I enjoyed learning and the intimacy of the camera, it taught me that I have some gaps in an otherwise reliable repertoire of creative offerings. “Does the fridge running really make that much noise? Does it really take my hubby three hours on an advanced sound software system to clean out the sound? Does the garbage truck outside really cast such shadows on the wall behind me? Should my outfit match the painting behind me, rather than clash? Yikes.” These and other pseudo-technical questions! Like I said: gaps.
The Lord has always been good to me, blending my education with a natural bent for drama, public presentations, and facilitation of Socratic dialogue (honed with years of homeschooling my two children!). So, personal presentations come easy to me. I love having the microphone. I feel very at home at the front of a room, guiding a conversation and sharing ideas! But going online… working alone… without audience feedback or others’ input! Has been a huge learning curve. I have had to… adapt.
I love the content of my first-ever online course, and created it without a script, so the flow is still there (thank you, Lord) and I know it’s richly blessed, but the words “Product Development” came to me soon after its release last fall. “Online Packaging” is new to me, but I know this is where I am being led and I’ll have to reach out to others in a new way.
“How do I do this?” is a rather humbling question after working as a professional in the field for more than 25 years. So, creative adaptability, for me, is not so much about content creation, but about the other two legs of the stool: collaboration and connections that now need to work online.
Isolation is real. And online connections, however robust, do not have the same human warmth (and grace for just not knowing…) as meeting in person does. When I can look someone in the eye and know they hear me, that they catch the vision, understand an idea and why it’s important; I feel like I can do anything! This has been my experience with hosting workshops for Inscribe and doing keynotes for other organizations; there just seems to be so much support! On site fans make hosting workshops feel like riding a wave. It just all comes together, and I sense the Lord’s hand on it! Plus, the feedback is very settling, affirming and motivating. But in the online world it’s different.
There are knowledge gaps about working online for someone who lives offline (intentionally) 80% of the time. And there are relational gaps for people not meeting in person, over a cup of coffee.
But! Creative Adaptability is the name of the game, as I find that out of the three legs of the creative stool (Content + Collaboration + Connections), I have one in place and will be working very hard from this side of my screen, with my own cup of coffee or whatnot on hand, to make the most of every conversation, connection and collaborative opportunity. To keep it ALL real, human, grounded and as grace filled as possible. Here’s to God’s continued favour on the work of all of our hands, wherever and however we may have to adapt today.
Dayna Mazzuca is a writer, speaker and poet working from home in Sylvan Lake. Her formal background is in Philosophy, Journalism and Spiritual Formation. These topics tend to overlap in her writings on the spiritual journey, her eight books of poetry and her online work. Her most recent project is an online course called “The Power of Authentic Storytelling” and can be found on her new site – www.daynamazzuca.com.