I know that I am a good writer. At least that's what I tell myself when I sit down to reflect on the goings on around me in my everyday and share those stories. I write really well. OK, perhaps not Jackson Biko well but I am sure I do write well enough to encourage and inspire someone.
Sadly, I haven't had any of my posts go viral just yet. I still believe that my dreams are valid.
I remember lovingly editing a friend's post and he got over 500 views in one day. I wasn't necessarily angry- in fact I was elated by his success. Who wouldn't be, when we had worked and re-worked on that piece with dedication? Hard work is meant to pay off. Hard work that has passion poured into is supposed to yield great dividends.
But somewhere, deep down I thought to myself 'hmmm..what about my posts?'
I was beginning to feel the pressure of the 'like' button.
Ever since I discovered that I somewhat take pretty artistic photos, I keep wondering why I haven't hit 100 likes. The best I have managed is about 5o on a good day. Somehow my ego believes that my followers should be more. They should be flocking my page by the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.
No, this post is not set up to be a whining and complaining space. This is my cry for help.
The 'Like' button is stifling my creative!
It takes a lot of will power to stay away from constantly refreshing my Instagram feed- you know just to be to sure. For the umpteenth time I have logged into my account and done somersaults when I found additional activity, five minutes later.
Anyone who leaves a comment is promptly responded to with a barrage of thank you and smiley faces. Don't worry, it normally is a genuine reaction to those who actually take time to leave some feedback.
Apparently, responding is the etiquette of social media- that's what they say.
Now whoever this 'they' is better style up because their rules are no longer working for me.
How do you deal with your ego when it is constantly badgering you and comparing your mere 20 likes to the 1925 likes someone else got?
OK- maybe, just maybe, I spend a lot of time daydreaming trying to convince myself that having 100k visitors is not a bad thing. On the other hand, doesn't 100k followers put unnecessary overwhelm on you to keep it together and get your content just right, and...and....
Is anybody else out there having a real bashing on their creativity?
Do you find yourself questioning whether what you are putting up is good enough?
This madness HAS to stop.
My dear creatives, this is a reminder to go easy on yourself. To come back to your motivation. Your big Why.
Don't listen to the voice in your head. Instead trust the stirring of your soul.
It should be allowed to mature at its own pace.
And when the time is right, it will explode and take on a life of its own.
Be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to blossom.
Sometimes your message is what that one person needed to help them get through another long day.
Creativity is a process. It cannot and should not be rushed.
I am thinking that perhaps we should start a petition to have that like button removed.
On second thoughts, maybe not. Let it stay on as a reminder to us not to validate ourselves through the numbers.
Keep creating because it makes you tingle and smile.
Always remember you set the rules. And if the rules don't work for you, you can bend and change them.
I would love to know how you keep sane in the midst of all the 'like' noise.