So, I recently purchased a monthly subscription to get access to more articles on Medium and so far I can’t complain. I get manageable pieces of writing to read every day although the more you click on one type, the more the algorithm will try and suggest similar ones to you.
With me reading about the business of writing and how to monetize work as a writer, I get a plethora of “How I Made X in 6 Months of Writing”-type of articles, which is fine for a while but soon grows old.
All these articles could be summed up as:
- Write regularly (emphasis on write not publish)
- Don’t get too caught up in technicalities
- Finetune your voice
- Deliver a message to your audience
The rest is just down to who gets lucky, whose articles get the timing spot on to get published in the right place at the right time, whose SEO rubs Google the right way, who has contacts or experience. That’s pretty much it.
Rest is just numbers that bear no relevance to others.
So… get to writing then!
Any artist in this digital age - who has ever found themselves on social media - is bound to catch themselves either comparing their work to that of others or having that little voice in the back of their minds ask them: “Is this what people want to see?”
Even with the utmost integrity, it can happen, as fleeting as those thoughts may be at times. We are surrounded by new visuals daily and, unless we completely disconnect, we might need to check in with ourselves and ask:
Am I creating because I care?
Am I inspiring myself?
Am I sharing because I enjoy expressing myself?
Am I creating because that’s what I think people want to see?
Am I undermining my own abilities, skills, and vision because someone somewhere might be *better*?
Am I sharing to stay relevant?
I don’t have an answer for how to completely quieten those voices but I know that regular check-ins with myself, with a friend, or someone caring enough to listen, can help. Just putting those thoughts out there, be it on paper or in a voice message, can be enough to make you see what you might need to change in your mindset.
I am writing this from the comfort of my garden, enjoying that rare British sunshine with an already empty coffee cup by my side. I am thinking about the past and the future, and I am wondering: have the past couple of years changed our perception of how connected we want to be with the people we know and the people we don’t?
I am perfectly content to keep my connections to a minimum albeit I enjoy sharing tidbits of my work with the rest of the world. But, I mean those real connections.
I am wondering if the lockdown brought me a sense of solitude that I actually craved but was too scared to admit that I need it. I don’t want to be pulled in every direction, emotionally and physically. Is it bad to admit that?
There are few types of people: some crave the energy and get fired up from others around them and then there’s us, the quiet ones. The ones who can happily travel on their own, share a conversation with a stranger at a bus stop or at the park but not actively looking to grow their network. It can be exhausting to be emotionally invested in many people around us so I think, or I would like to think, that it makes our life just as fulfilling to keep true to ourselves.
We like peace, quiet, harmony, a few adventures here and there, but the stillness brings us clarity on what we are and what we are doing, especially if it’s related to arts. I welcome this stillness in my life and for now, I am embracing it while I can because who knows what the future brings. Today, I will enjoy my quiet sunshine in the garden with my empty coffee cup beside me.