I listen to a lot of business podcasts. I don’t know why but I’m drawn to small business advice and internet marketing. One of my favorite podcasts is The Fizzle Show. They recently had an amazing episode where they interviewed Ross Symons, who makes his living from origami which he started as a 365 day challenge on his Instagram.
Ross embodies focus but non-attachment to the outcome. He says in the interview when he started the 365 day origami challenge he focused on what he would fold next. And he extrapolated that his creative life as his origami took off into an actual business. If he gets stressed about money or the next gig or follower count, he refocuses on what he can control: the next thing he’ll fold and share.
Creativity in the modern world can be distilled down to two essences: create and share. As a creative you should be either creating or sharing. What’s next? Create something, then share it, after you share, create something new.
I had a bit of a meltdown about two things. One, mistaking attention for respect and using me for as textual masturbatory device, I get a lot of text equivalents of dick pics. Some people are very overt, and some are far more subtle and sneak past my defenses. I have terrible boundary setting skills; I don’t talk about it much, but I have some childhood trauma stuff and boundaries were not something I learned. I realized after the fact that my gut was telling me all this in the first place, but I ignored my body’s warning.
The second thing is anxiety about my writing future. I worry about my mailing list numbers, my follower count, my sales numbers, I flip flop on buying ads. I want to make enough money so I don’t need a job, but when I read blog posts and listen to podcasts about selling more books it all seems like gimmicks, ads. And I don’t want to market or do gimmicks or ads, so maybe I have to resign myself to needing a job while I write.
I thought about quitting. But a friend said I have to write for myself.
As I was writing this, someone in a fan fiction community *cough*DragonAge*cough* posted complaining about high reads and low likes and comments. And I said if you are writing for likes and comments, then you are likely to be unhappy. When is it enough reviews? Or comments? Or likes? Or shares? We will always want more.
If you write what you want to read, you’ll be happy. I may never become a full time author. But I will always create stories that I love.
So I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to focus on what I can control: creating and sharing.
In an ideal world, a blog post once a week, an IG poem 3-7 days a week, and keep making up stories and publish as they are done. I’ll give them away to my email list. And I’ll continue my search for a job. I wrote better, easier, less anxiety when I was working. (I’ve been a stay at home mom for 7 years, I’m currently a substitute educational assistant and if you all cross your fingers, I’ll return to that full time this fall).