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Creativity and curiosity are at the heart of the Experts program

Hi there! I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m Colleen Stinchcombe, and I’ve just joined the Experts team as an Experts editor. I’ve been working at SheKnows for almost two years — my previous role was the sponsored content editor and Pets editor.

I’ve been watching the Experts program from afar, and I’ve always admired the passion and energy of the program. But I also always felt at a loss — I’d always been a writer. Writing was my thing, and I wasn’t sure how so many women in the program — who were clearly also writers, as they were writing about their passions — could manage to juggle so many other interests. Food! Health! The latest TV shows (you guys aren’t watching things months later like me!)! I couldn’t quite understand how one person could manage to be passionate about so many things.

But in January, I lost my mom to cancer. And suddenly, in the wake of that grief and in an attempt to heal, I found myself desperate to make more and do more stuff. I started painting, which I’d never considered before. I started vlogging. I started planning hikes (by myself!) and even went on my first backpacking trip, something I did with only three days’ notice and zero equipment. I joined a yoga studio. I traveled — Santa Monica, Denver, Toronto (to see Niagara Falls!), Chicago, Seattle, Wales, not to mention all the trips around my own state of Arizona. I started writing a book, something that, even as a writer, I’d never been able to get started on.

Unfinished Paintings by Colleen Stinchcombe
Image: Colleen Stinchcombe

(Three in-progress paintings in the “disaster” phase)

What I realized is that when I let myself be creative in whatever way was interesting to me, I managed to make time for it. I wasn’t just a writer anymore; I was interested in so many things. There’s an electricity to making something that is entirely your own. Diving as deeply as I could into my creativity and curiosity was soothing. And sharing that with people — people who know what it’s like to make something just for the fun of it or to put themselves out there even when it’s scary — has been the most humbling and gratifying experience.

That’s why I’m so excited to be joining the Experts program right now. October is Experts Appreciation Month. It’s been two years since the program started, and I’ve spent those two years watching the incredible women in this program explore, experiment and dare to share themselves with the world.

I can’t wait for you to see what we’ve got planned to celebrate — from highlighting Experts to sharing the beautiful volunteer work Experts are doing offline to Experts’ best tips, and even advice from one Expert to another about love, family and more. Not to mention, we’ll be sharing how-tos on our seriously cool Halloween crafts from our Oct. 27 Experts party in New York so you can make similar projects at home.

To me, being an Expert is an act of creativity and courage. I can’t wait to hear about what being an Expert means to you and to learn about the many things that light your fires. I’d love to follow all of you on Twitter and LinkedIn, and I’ll be sure to see you around the Experts Facebook Group. Happy Experts Appreciation Month. Now let’s get to celebrating!

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