A few days ago my dear friend Penny had yet another disappointment in her job search. It has been a while since she started to look for work, and her frustration level is now quite high.
Penny is a very talented photographer and is a very interesting person. So, I suggested she started a blog and shared some of her beautiful work with the World. She was taken a little aback by this proposal and objected by saying that she has no clue about blogging and would not know what to blog about, etc. I told her that all she has to do is just start by sharing the pictures and telling the stories behind them. I interested her with the idea somewhat and she decided to think about it. I promised to help her if she ever considers going that way.
That incident made me think that maybe, I could help someone else like Penny to start creating their web presence by showcasing their skills. To help someone not to concentrate of self-doubt or worry about not being able to define a “niche”. This is how the idea for this article came to me.
HOW NINE’S CATUDIO™ WAS BORN
I am very Thankful that one September evening little kitten Nine showed up at my door. It was a much needed boost of refreshment into the monotony of my life. This little kitten helped me understand what I really want to do. And that is create and share my creativity and direct it all towards one good goal.
Many times did I start blogs before and as many times I quit after a week or so. All of the thoughts, pictures and other stuff would just hang around my PC and almost never would see the Internet World. I lacked the goal.
The goal is important, not the niche
I understand now that I was too demanding of myself to find that “perfect niche” to attract people and to build my own web community. I also understand now that it is not niche that is so important, but what the creator really wants to achieve. The goal is important. That is a niche on its own self.
Finding a new goal to achieve is becoming harder if one had experienced and have already achieved a lot. It is possible to get tired of “achieving” and start craving the leveled existence, however, it is also very hard to get rid of the annoyance of the expectations which our family, friends and society overall impose on us.
What I also found, since some life experiences are so extraordinary for some people, and have been generously poured on some, yet avoided others, it is really not necessary to wait for your niche to form. Just present what you have, give it a try. At worst, you will just move on to something else. At the best, you will continue to improve the presentation of whatever that is that you are trying to share with the World.
Care about self-validation, not the recognition from everyone else
In other words – don not care so much about recognition, care about self validation. Do it your way and there always be someone who would be looking for what you have.
No matter what I could say here, it is only up to you to find the motivation to create something that you have been nurturing in your mind for a while. But what I can encourage you to do – is to try. Start somewhere. Write a line, draw a shape, press a few keys on the keyboard, take a video of your cat’s antics, – whatever it is that you want to share with the World, – try to let it out of the dreams and into the reality.
Be on a lookout for the creativity “triggers” . Turn every event that had an impact on your life in any way into such trigger. See how far beyond the simple event you can extend your experience and may be, share some useful material with others. There could be a million of “triggers” out there – from a break-up to winning the lottery. Whatever it is that motivates you to act, will motivate you to expand on that experience.
So, how did I end up with Nine’s Catudio™?
On one warm September evening I was winterizing my little garden, as the forecast called for the sudden cold front. We live in Alberta, Canada, and our climate is strange, and very unpredictable. It can snow in August here, and be very warm in January.
It was a long and tiring day and I sat down to rest and also read the texts from my fiancée that I missed. He was away for work that week. As I was getting my phone out of my pocket, I heard a piercing meowing cutting the otherwise absolute quietness of our little village.
We do have a few feral cats around here as we are surrounded by farmers, and a few occasional strays. I feed them by buying the discounted meat at the store in town. Sometimes I treat them to a can of real cat food. I just can’t let any cat starve. They occasionally bring kittens. The kittens are usually adopted very quickly. There is always a need of a cat on the farm.
Occasionally, they will have cat fights or make a lot of noise during their mating season. But usually they all quietly carried on with their business. The desperate meowing startled me. It was coming from the road that led out of the village to the highway. It was strange, because that was the only direction where there were no farms. The neighbors who lived that way had the dogs only.
I got out of the chair and tried to see where the sound was coming from. It was the beginning of September and the nights crawled in much faster, so it was already pretty dark by the time I start looking for the kitten. I knew it was a kitten. I have saved so many cats in my life, and had a few myself. Only a desperate, hungry kitten would scream like this.
I started to call into the night in the sweetest voice. Over the years spent with cats, I developed a certain way of talking to them, depending on the circumstances (you can read my “Voice Training” articles here). When I was a kid, I used to make bets with friends that I could make any cat come to me. We lived in the Old Country back then and the stray cats were a very common thing there. With time I perfected this skill to the point where I hardly ever met a cat who would refuse coming when I call them.
At the same time my phone screen lit with yet another message from my fiancée. I looked at the time. It was almost 9 pm. And that’s when I saw Nine…
I almost stepped on him, as the bright phone screen blinded me in the darkness of the evening. The tiny baby cat was sitting right by my feet, studying me with his huge eyes. I was able to see his face in the light of the phone screen. The poor little thing was very stressed and dehydrated (his third eyelid was covering half of his eyes). Not having time for the sentiments, I rushed into the house and brought the can of turkey meat and a dish with water.
Nine fell to that food and did not stop until the whole can was gone. The size of that can was the size of Nine. Beats me where it all fitted in him.
With full tummy Nine, practically, collapsed by the water dish. I wrapped him up in a warm blanket and sat on the porch stairs, admiring the little miracle traveler and not knowing what to do next. We already had the older Catooges, Sky and Junior. The big boys could seriously harm the baby. But our house was too small to properly isolate him. But there is no way I could leave him on the street… The million thoughts were pacing through my mind that night.
I will skip the rest of the story now, as you can read more or watch the video here, and, running ahead, say that Nine is the third of the Catooges now. But it was not right away that we took him in. My first motion was – to find him a new home! I was so successful at re-homing the strays before – I knew I would not fail if I tried.
The first thing I did was to take as many pictures as I could and shoot as many video moments as I could. From my previous experiences of re-homing, I knew that a good pleading for help video or a well illustrated post on Facebook page were very helpful when it came to finding a home for the cats that I rescued.
The little guy was so cute and despite the starvation and dehydration, so playful, he quickly gained popularity among my wide array of Facebook friends. I took it a step further and published a compilation on my YouTube channel. The video story of little Nine quickly drew the attention of viewers.
It seems like what I just described took a long time. No. It took me three days. Three days to discover that I did not want little Nine to go. I wanted him here, with us. I deleted the videos with pleas for adoption and removed the initial Facebook post. Instead, I started to make videos for the channel, and take pictures for Nine’s page.
In about a week I realized that I finally knew the way how to allow my piling creative ideas to find a chance to live. The experience of Nine finding me triggered my life long wish of creating my own community dedicated to stray cats. But more! It expanded beyond the kitten finding me event and brought me to realization I finally found my motivation, my new goal, – my niche in the current moment of life.
Turn the Goal into the Niche
Cats are my long life passion, my biggest point of interest, my most captivating source of entertainment, my deepest level of adoration. So, the goal was born quickly – to build this site and get recognized for all I can do and all I can know. Does not matter that there a millions of sites out there with the same mission as mine. THIS WAS MY GOAL. And it was up to me to turn this goal into the niche and expand beyond one life event into something that can now last the lifetime and exist for the benefit of the visitors.
There was an abundance of “triggers” in my life that could have brought me to this point sooner. But many of them I tried to ignore, forget, dismiss, for they were painful or seemed so odd to others… The abusive, horrible childhood; the unexpected, unfair, premature death of my husband; trying to adapt to the new country on my own in my teenage years; None of corner stone events of my life expanded beyond themselves. But a tiny kitten showing up at my doorstep became that much needed event to stop caring about what others think and start creating.
Trying is not scary
In conclusion: as I mentioned in the beginning of this article: do not worry if you can’t define your niche for the blog or a website at this time. Examine every event, – past or present and see if you could identify any potential “triggers” that exist within those events. Once the “trigger” is chosen, expand beyond the event by creating what you can, not what the rest of the world is expecting from you. Even if your new blog is not successful, or your website is something that is not working out how you wanted it to work, – you will still learn something valuable out of the expansion of your experience. And one day, when the right “trigger” comes along, you will know what to do.
It will just simply come to you. I know. It happened to me.
Good Luck and remember – the first step is trying. Please, if you have any comments or would like to get more information on how to get started with a creative content on the Internet, including the web tips and tricks, do not hesitate to contact me.