I’m about to turn my back on all my training.
I’ve been trained in social media marketing. I have a master’s degree in Interactive Communications. I follow all the experts I can find on Twitter, and I connect with them on LinkedIn. And I’m probably about to make them all disown me.
I’m changing strategies because I’m not getting anything done.
Up until now, I’ve been saturating my psyche with tips and tricks from everyone on how to make social media work for my “brand”. Only post on certain days at certain times. Stick to a niche that people will get to know you for. Make a schedule for your posts. Delete all your posts without engagement. Yada yada yada rhubarb.
It’s not working for me. Do you know what it does? It paralyzes me into doing nothing. Do you know why? Because it’s a big enough struggle getting myself to put words on a screen and be sincere about what I’m writing. But after I do, like Hemingway said and “sit at the (keyboard) and bleed”, suddenly there are hoops.
Do this and don’t do that. Well, do that to attract this, but not that. Regardless, tag this and hashtag that. No, wait. Don’t hashtag that. Only hashtag that three times. Not four.
Because the whole reason I wrote as a child was because it was fun to express myself and use my imagination. That’s it. Period. The journey was the reason, joy was the result.
I’m finding now that every time I want to write, I have to ask myself “will this resonate? Who will read this? Will you be using the proper social media channels when all this is finished?” And then I go, this is a lot to think about. Maybe I don’t want to do this. Maybe I just want to be like everyone else and consume instead of create.
The mindset has crept into everything I do. My graphic design work has suffered because it’s not perfect. I haven’t recorded a podcast episode in nearly a year because what if I don’t have an audience? This isn’t healthy. And it’s because I’m listening so much to the experts that my head is spinning. I know they’re well meaning.
Expressing this frustration, however, feels good.
I’m claiming my creativity back, and I don’t care who follows me. So there. The numbers are nice, but I don’t want to depend on them for my self-worth as a creator. I don’t want to niche! I contain multitudes, dammit.
Thank you to my mentors and my influencers. I’ll take it from here.
I might drive this thing into a lake, but at least I’m the one behind the wheel.
I’m determined to make more podcast episodes starting next week. I want to write more of these things, too. You might find some social media tips you can use or you might discover if goldfish can be trained to do tricks. Whatever.
You coming along? Nice to have you. Take a seat in the back. There’s probably an unopened beer under the seat somewhere, and we might stop at McDonald’s or something if you get hungry.