I’ve been grappling with something. (This is going to be quite scattered, so bear with me.)
I feel like whenever I try to write something online lately, it’s not really me. It’s this stale sort of “formalized” me. Like, stuff I write isn’t actually genuine, or stuff I’d like to read. Also, I’m not writing nearly enough, or often enough, to make any sort of impact. Like, ‘5 Things I Learned Before I Turned 25’ is not really leaping any creative boundaries, is it? Essentially, I know I can do better.
I’ve been working in the online world for quite a while, and took a bit of a duck away for some mental clarity, travel, and started university. Now, I’m studying PR, working in the Digital Marketing field at a small online company in Sydney, and…of course, spending quite a lot of time on social media, just in my free time.
I have this overwhelming desire to want to start to share stuff online, but not just news articles like I used to. Like, I feel this urge to create a platform where I can have an audience to write about what matters to me. That’s what this site is supposed to be.
However, it seems like social media and online content is all created in a streamlined fashion, and has become formulaic.
Like, if you follow a beautiful yoga instagrammer, you’ll probably get like 40 other accounts suggested to you that seem almost exactly the same…all with over 100k followers. People are aiming to become influencers and following pre-set strategies to do so. Lots of list articles, articles about how to do things, and lots and lots of e-books. Some of these ideas may be good, but it’s hard to branch out when there are so many ways things “should be done” online now. Like, it’s what I’m studying at uni! There are rules to the game now.
The issue is that I don’t just want to do what everyone else is doing. Plus, that feels pretty exhausting anyway, since doing something that absolutely everyone else is trying to do involves way more competition than I’m trying to force on myself. Also, following a formula isn’t fun to me. It’s draining.
Now, when I think of social media and online creation it’s hard for me not to think, “I need an aesthetic.” Or, “I need to figure out my brand,” which wasn’t what really got me where I ended up with my site which actually was successful (Page To Premiere). At the end of the day, I want to get back to just being able to write.
Now, at university, what I was figuring out just for fun as an emerging platform in 2007 is now my major. We’re learning about sales funnels, “converting” our users, and how to use various programs to shoot out social media posts in a well thought out branded idea. Which is great for business I suppose, but it turns something I found so enjoyable into something so incredibly dry.
I don’t know what I’m really trying to say in this blog post, probably just that I want to:
1) stop feeling like a slave to the social media / blog / online marketing formulas
2) allow myself to be more creative, and give myself permission to create some shitty stuff
3) actually try and share stuff online more, because you know, practice makes perfect
Like, back when I was younger, I used to love to write stories just because I loved to write stories. I’d write and write and write just because it was fun for me. I had dreams of becoming an author when I was in the 6th grade.
However, when I went to high school, that all changed. Suddenly, my essays were being graded, and they weren’t getting good marks. I started to think I was bad at writing, and stopped enjoying it. A few of my classmates would get A’s consistently, and I started to think, “Why bother. It’s not fun, and it’s obviously not your calling.”
So, now I’m thinking that website-creation and online writing has sort of landed in that sphere for me. Like, the online world is so transparent. You can see all these perfect people with their perfect “aesthetic” blogs and you can think that nothing you can do can add up to something as good as what they are doing. Also, that bar that they seem to have set for others to reach seems to be so difficult to attain without resorting to methods like I’m learning in class right now: sales funnels, and “marketing tactics.”
However, websites and online writing were just fun for me before. It was organic. Creative. Didn’t involve any of that formulaic fakeness. Social media for me has gotten to the point where if I see any sort of “fakeness” it turns me off immediately, but I also avidly follow plenty of people who have created a vibe that is obviously constructed to send off rays of perfection that other people would want to emulate. Plus, I can’t help but be attracted by the perfect “aesthetics” of some of the blogs I find, so I feel like to truly reach my potential (whatever that is) I have to find one of those perfectly structured aesthetics as well.
I guess if I enjoy reading realistic non-formulaic awesome creative stuff, and want a great community online where I can be myself and foster a community of like-minded folks eventually (down the line, not right now…this is a process), I should just start.
I’m a bit tired of the “5 things” lists. They’re feeling really stale. So…time for something different! I won’t know what works for me, until I try a bunch of stuff out.
So yeah. This has been a blog post.