Today I'm "officially" launching The Outwork.
Why is it "ready" to be "officially" launched? Because I'm willing to show up and do the work everyday. Not because I already put up the website and set it up to look beautiful and polished to my ever increasing standards. Not because I checked off every item on the list that I thought might be an important thing to do pre-launch. Instead, I asked myself what is the minimum lovable/viable product to ship to my minimum viable audience? It's a signup for a new set of daily posts.
Ive been thinking for a while about this split, dailies for the creative work that is me creating my own art (that I now publish at scarletdame.com), and dailies for the work that is me creating the infrastructure for that creative work and helping others to do the same (that I am now publishing at The Outwork). They sit facing each other - they are even inseparable - but they're different genres.
I'm feeling apprehensive, stressed, and a bit terrified that this project will take me away from my creative work. In a way it is creative work still, but it could easily become the type of Shadow Artist work of doing the thing next to the work I seek to create. Ultimately, the distinction is whether or not I'm doing my own art. This is another reason to separate the two. My first commitment is to my art. Without my own creative practice, there is no meta practice, no reason to publish, no process to model that I may help others replicate it. To be more direct, without my own music and art, there is no Outwork.
The dailies are not a commitment to finish everything before I write my post. They aren't a contract to put in extra hours to do all the things I had meant to do last week so I can write about them. They're a contract to publicly ship what I have done, in whatever state it's in. I have agency over what I share, but this kind of transparency is a powerful tool that forces me to keep my published work in lock step with my conceptual and personal process. My public identity becomes a byproduct of my work, not another project that I'm always too short on time to do well enough.
From here the work is not to make some massive effort to ship all the stuff. The massive effort for me is to take things one day at a time, to keep my priorities straight, to keep making art, and to allow things to grow gently and organically.