Hello wonderful pals!
For the past couple of months or so I've been stressing myself out with trying to keep up to date with social medias, online groups, blog posts, emails and admin in general. Then foolishly on top of that I decided to run my first Kickstarter.
Don't get me wrong: Kickstarter was great, I'm super glad I did it (although I couldn't have done it without a lot help from my proofreading/professional writing hero Owen Heitmann)! My heart cockles were warmed by the response from family and friends and strangers who wanted to back the project. I was overwhelmed with the amount of support that the project generated. But that's the thing, I was overwhelmed.
With all the time I had to spend on the computer with up-keep of the Kickstarter and then also just my general online presence stuff over all the other groups I help to organise, I was running pretty thin and I really just wanted to be writing and drawing my own work. The work that I'd quit my day job for.
All the social media stuff had become a bigger part of my freelancing job than the actual creation of art. And creating art was what I wanted to spend my unpaid time doing. I wanted to spend every free second (i.e. every second I wasn't doing a job for someone else) on my book or experimenting with stories and ideas. But then of course once I was on the social media sites, I would get sucked in to looking at everyone else's beautiful pictures, making me feel worse for not creating and about my abilities to create. There has been many a time that I've gotten sucked into the continuing scroll. I'm sure you know the feeling of spending too much time looking at other people's work and worrying about not doing enough work yourself. But instead of getting off the internet and doing work, you keep scrolling.
I've often been surprised when people compliment me on my online presence because I don't really see myself as a tech savvy person. I link most things to my Instagram (my platform of choice because it's mostly images) so I don't have to really use Tumblr (while I don't mind it, I don't really get it) and only have to do extra updates on Facebook when I have events and things. I have no idea how to Twitter, and I do not care to learn.
Then in the past few weeks I realised how much pressure I'd been putting on myself to keep my online presence going even though I've been working pretty much every day with teaching and workshops and mentorships and new jobs and grant application deadlines and prep for interstate travel.
The most pressure I'd been putting on myself was around my blog posts. I constantly worry that they aren't long enough or aren't interesting enough. Sometimes I'd have lots of ideas for blog posts and sometimes none at all. I wanted to spend more time on them but there are only so many hours in the day and what I need (and I mean this as in an urgent, super strong, gut feeling) is to work on the book. And I guess sleeping and eating and maybe seeing my friends occasionally should get a look in.
Then these thoughts popped into my head, "If I'm not posting, I'm not creating work - and if I'm not creating work, do I deserve to be a freelancer? I'm very lucky to be in the position to quit my day job to work on what I love. I should not be squandering my time. I need to work harder. And show people what I'm working on." These thoughts are super hard and complicated and I think I might unpack them a little bit later, when I'm ready, in another blog post.
So guys, I'm making a call. I'm going to focus on making this book happen. I want to get it to the stage that I can send it out to agents or publishers by the end of the year and to do that I need to take a break from online.
Have no fear, citizen! I'll still be around. I'm going to try to keep writing blog posts but I'm not going to necessarily do them once a week. I'll be posting a little less on the socials and I'll be taking on fewer commissions.
Right now, all I'm going to do is make myself a cuppa, sit down with a sketchbook and let my brain relax and create.
Thank you to everyone for all your continuing support, I appreciate every kind word. You can of course still contact me via email, I might just take a little time to reply.
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