Let me help you answer the question “OK, what’s the next step in my creative journey?”
This is for you if…
+ You’ve decided you want to pursue a more creative life; the trouble is that you can’t figure out what to do next – how to go from point A to point B. You struggle to make decisions and take action, and you’re commonly defeated by the “censor” – that voice in your head that makes you overthink and suffer from imposter syndrome.
+ You’ve been working on your creative endeavors alone, and you feel like you’re missing in your life someone to talk to, who is also going through the same journey. Perhaps you can’t find anyone in your social circle that’s aching for a more creative life, and you’re tired of spending time in internal monologues or having podcasts as your only source of inspiration and realness.
+ You’re dealing with the emotional discomfort of working towards your creative side-project or business, and you end-up planning too much but doing too little, procrastinating out of fear or afraid of being a “cliché”. Every now and again you actually consider giving up on your creative pursuits and never talk about them again. You might be known by your “almost syndrome” – you’re the one that has had a few project ideas and gave up on them after a few months.
1-1 Accountability Sessions
Two accountability sessions to help you figure out what the next steps are in your creative journey. This is the space to discuss your life-long projects, figure out the moving-needle tasks for the next months, and delve into the blocks that prevent you from doing the work.
Accountability sessions are about companionship, sharing expertise and getting through the emotional discomfort of giving birth to a creative side-project. Maybe in your social circle no one is into this kind of stuff, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it!
Two accountability sessions
The first session will provide you with the space to figure out what’s your ultimate vision and the moving-needle tasks that will get you there. As a fellow creative, we can share each other’s experiences, and I’ll support you by brainstorming ideas and come up with an action plan – even if that’s a bit scary and uncomfortable. Before we say goodbye, we’ll agree on the moving-needle tasks for the following month.
If there’s time, we’ll have a quick “eat the frog” session – this is inspired by Mark Twain’s saying – “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”. It’s not really surprising, but sometimes we really just need to get started to gain some momentum – how many times have we created drama around a task that in the end just took us half an hour to get done?
And then we’ll meet again a month after for our second and last call! This is when the true accountability comes into place – you’re not alone in this! I’ll ask you how your month went and what kind of struggles and achievements you’ve had. We’ll talk about the next steps and tweak your action plan according to your needs
Two private monthly newsletters
You’ll receive a newsletter at the end of each session with a summary of all the topics we discussed, as well as useful links to inspire you in your creative endeavors. You’ll also have access to templates to document your journey, review your actions and help you get clearer with your goals. Documenting is one of the most important parts of the process – it helps you to “keep your head in the game” (high school music fans will get the reference) and make sure that you’re on the right track. You can always refer back to these two newsletters to check-in on yourself to make sure that you’re taking the moving-needle tasks and not going on autopilot week after week after our calls.
24/7 support on Whatsapp for a month
Because pursuing a creative project can spark a lot of doubts and paralyze us, you’re free to ask for full support during one month. This is the space to check-in, share your successes, resources and whatever it’s in your head.
140 euros in total
20% of the proceeds will go to a different charity every four months (and suggestions of charity projects are always welcome!). I’ll share with you the donation receipt at the end of the last session by email.
THE STORY BEHIND THE NEXT STEP SESSIONS…
I’m Mariana, an aspiring writer and journalist, and founder of the interview-project “OK, what’s the next step?”. Just so you have an idea of my background, in April 2019, I wrote on my journal a list of things I enjoyed doing because I wanted to find my passion and create something out of that. I was mostly bored and disconnected, and craving for a creative outlet. But nothing came out of that list until a few months after, when I started playing with the idea of creating a website that explored the idea that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel and we can figure out what to do with our lives by looking at how other inspiring people have made it.
It’s been less than a year but since then, my website went live, I had the chance to talk and interview people I admire, put online some musings and discovered how to monetize this side-project by creating The Next Step Sessions. This wasn’t a straightforward process, and before these sessions, a few other things were tried, like having a Patreon account (that was a short endeavor!).
The idea for The Next Step Sessions came out of my own reality and experience, with the help of my own accountability buddies. Imagine, three strangers meeting on Zoom in January 2020 to talk about their creative outlets! But it worked, and every time we met, I’d leave the calls more energized and clearer about my goals and next steps. Meeting them was important because while my interview-project is about reverse-engineering other people’s steps, I still felt a bit lonely in this process of developing a side-project.
And so, I wondered if maybe others had the same problem, which led me to organize accountability sessions in Portuguese and English. These sessions also turned out to be quite useful for others, which got me thinking: “Why not get serious about this?”.
Nowadays, I want to become a journalist, a writer, and travel the world by working remotely – and this is me doing the work whilst juggling university and a part-time job. My selling point isn’t about being an expert, but one or two steps ahead, as enthusiastic and willing to learn as you are!
My goal is to be the companion that many young creatives don’t have at the start of their journey, just like I didn’t have, and share with you the method that helped me get where I am today. Everyone that I met in the sessions that I organized this year has taught me something that accelerated the growth of this side-project. I cannot tell you enough how peer support makes all the difference – I literally had nothing online a year ago, and now I’m here!
Because life can be more than home-work-home-school-home-Netflix. Because life doesn’t have to be boring once you finish university and it’s okay to talk about other aspirations (and be a bit unrealistic!). Real-life isn’t as dramatic as it was in high school – it’s so light and it can become so boring! So why not make the best out of the sum of our days?
Because this is space to be vulnerable and share your hopes, projects and struggles. It’s a big permission slip to dream more creatively about having something more than a 9-5 job. It’s a space where you can meet supportive and like-minded people, be held accountable and get the motivation to do the work.
Because there’s no need to reinvent the wheel! “OK, what’s the next step?” is a common question, which means that most of us can help you in some way – the answers you’re looking for have probably been addressed by others already! So, why not get together, do a collective brainstorming and learn from each other’s experiences?