How the Mission of Community on Sara Strives can be Anyone’s Mission
My name is Wandy Felicita Ortiz, and I know Sara Fry through being part of the national writing team for Odyssey, a social content platform geared towards sharing experiences, news and advice via the millennial generation. Aside from writing for Odyssey, I also write and edit for a number of websites and digital publishers, in addition to running some academic blogs. Although it would seem that Sara’s field of work and my own do not intersect in the slightest, our commonalities actually lie within how we look at the work we do and how we view the people who help us work towards our goals.
If you take the moment to go to About Sara Strives, you will be met with Sara Fry’s mission, a credo of values and how she hopes to use these values to guide her and her site to becoming distinguished as a cultivated community for creative college students as well as creatives that are already out in the “adult world.”
Sara, like many of us millennials participating in start- ups, is taking the skills we have learned from our education pursuits, hobbies, growing interface with digital media, and is making a conscious effort to create a space where those who share similar interests can safely commune and share new ideas. In Sara’s case, she uses her various art and design skills to inspire and motivate others to showcase their work on her site join her in blog collaborations. Sara does this based upon five things she believes:
1. Creation brings the greatest joy.
2. Friendship is critical to your success.
3. Happiness is a choice.
4. Family should be a safe haven.
5. A compliment can go such a long way.
Although some may look at this handful of points and see no difference between what Sara writes and what every other 20-something year- old out in the Internet void is writing in efforts to create a community and capture an audience, it must be said that different is found in what Sara does behind the scenes that brings her mission to life and differentiates her from every other up and coming artist out there.
Sara seeks to establish meaningful relationships with her friends, family, community and work partners in a fashion that facilitates happiness and success for all parties involved. I am an English and French major, potentially considered an “amateur” in the scope of digital media. Yet, Sara and I connected through social media- one of the greatest networking tools that currently exists- and she saw that I have a passion fro writing and connecting with other young creatives. She decided to extend the offer of writing for Sara Strives, as she recognizes the value of an individual and the works that they produce.
When you log onto Sara Strives’ about page, you are currently met by an Adobe Spark Video that notes her site as “creative,” “ambitious,” “inspired“, and “community“. If you read closely, you’ll notice that three out of four words are adjectives. The fourth, a noun, is the driving force behind Sara Strives. The various tabs on the site encourage others to join and support her journey, as success is meaningless without people to share it with, make you better a what you do, and to bring along for the ride.
As Sara says, creation- whether it be a news article, blog post, or new YouTube video- gives her, myself, and others in our community a type of joy that feels good when we keep it to ourselves, but even better when someone looks from the outside in, notices how your creation brings you joy, and then it brings them joy, too. The joy of creation is infectious and someone who might want to try something new but does not have the confidence to will see what you are doing and feel like they can do it too.
That’s where the happiness comes in. It may be a choice, but when you create your own opportunities for success that are inspired by your passions and interests, and then offer up the source of your happiness to others, happiness is a very easy choice.
Happiness is a choice that translates into all areas of life- especially family. As Sara and I know, pursuing your interests and starting something brand new is not easy, but when you have a familial safe haven to lean on and go to, you also have people that keep you going. “Family” does not always have to mean something biological, either. Although most of us work remotely and meet up for monthly video conference calls, I consider Sara and the writers of Odyssey, where you can apply with me if you e- mail me at my blog, as a different type of family that understands my experiences as a young person. Sara Strives creates a new digital community- a family- of creatives of all types- videographers, bloggers, fashion designers, whoever. Not everyone can say they belong to such an eclectic family.
When you are part of an environment that fosters community, creativity and personal growth, complimenting comes naturally. In the world, and especially in digital media, you will encounter people who do not like what you say, what you do, your point of view, and you will not be able to convince them otherwise. Some will tell you to your face, others will send you e- mails, and still others will lurk in the comments section. Constructive criticism is always a good thing, but sometimes you need to remind yourself of two things:
- Some people will be out there trying to attack you as a person and not your work. We don’t care about people who want to tear us those, only the comments of those who make us think critically about the work we produce.
- As David Leddick says, you are not for everyone, and neither is your work. That is absolutely 110% okay, because there is something out there for everyone. You do not have to please everyone with the content you create- you first and foremost need to please yourself.
Compliments are not just reserved for others. You deserve compliments, too. Sometimes we are hard on ourselves and think that our work is too “this,” “that,” or “the other thing” to truly be appreciated or attract and audience. The truth is, if even one person likes what you do, you’ve given them a new relationship to foster around something you are both passionate about. That alone is an accomplishment worth patting yourself on the back for. Success comes in leaps and bounds, not all at once.
Even though Sara and I seem like an unlikely pair, it is her point of view which I value and think others can apply to their own areas of interest, that brings us together. For anybody who hasn’t read her work on Odyssey, checked out her site, or contributed to her efforts, definitely do so. It’s very rare that you find a young creative looking to create a support system of talented people, rather than compete against them.
Wandy Felicita Ortiz