I Realized it Wasn't Working
At the beginning of 2018 I set new goals for my blog, social media, and new works. Some of those have been successful, and others... Well, not all ideas can be good ones, right? Especially now that my army of part-time jobs is in full swing, my priorities have shifted out of necessity. Now that we're 1/3 of the way into 2018, I'd like to share what I'm learning about what's working well for me, what's working not-so-well and how I'm going to change my blog schedule.
First: I'm glad I wrote down my goals for the year, even the ones I haven't come close to accomplishing, because it's made it easy to measure what was successful. I definitely recommend it.
Several of my goals had to do with how often I wanted to post and what type of content. At the beginning of the year I was trying to write something along the lines of an "On my Desk Now" every week and Throwback Thursdays and Feature Fridays on alternating weeks. That's 2 posts every week, or a whopping 8 posts a month. It probably goes without saying why that wasn't sustainable.
Featuring other artists is something that's still important to me because it reflects learning from and developing my art community both near and far, and I think it's important to continue reflecting on how other artists influence what I do. I'm going to make my Feature Friday posts more structured and interview-like so that it's easier for you to "get to know" new artists. I'm also definitely not going to post them as often--maybe once a month. Either way, I'll be sharing more of my favorite artists with you soon, and I can't wait for you to meet them.
On the other end of the spectrum, I realized that posting sneak peeks isn't as important here anymore because I want to save those as rewards for my Patreon supporters instead. Similarly, live streaming fell by the wayside almost immediately. Half of the problem is that so much of the work I've been doing has been secret, either because it's for an exclusive Patreon release or because it's a commission. The other half of the problem is that it always feels awkward and unnatural to me. Both with posts about what I'm currently working on and live casts seemed like the type of thing I was "supposed" to post, the type of artist I thought I was supposed to be, but it didn't actually work well for me. I don't feel the slightest like I failed, only relieved that I don't have to keep straining to do something that doesn't feel like a good use of my time.
Instead, I'm going to move in a different direction.
A recent conversation with a fellow artist reminded me how much more interesting and important storytelling is. It's strange that I've been having such a hard time with that, especially considering I thought of myself primarily as a writer for years. I'm still finding my voice, and I so appreciate your patience while I try new things. I think so much of my difficulty telling stories about why I make what I make springs from the same self esteem trouble that nearly stopped me from becoming an artist in the first place. I don't want to suggest that I have low self-esteem as a general rule, but it took me a long time to get over the idea that I didn't have permission or credentials to be a "real" artist. Clearly I'm still unpacking some of that. I'm excited to see if I can't learn where that comes from and undo some of it in the process of telling some of these stories. My new goal is to post stories about my practice once or twice a month on Wednesdays, maybe with an extra one sprinkled in here and there on occasion.
In the next few weeks I'll be cooking up stories about my mother's art and how it's influenced me, why I hop around between so many completely different projects, and what types of self-care I practice to keep myself from fusing to my desk horror movie-style.
Thanks for joining along for the ride!
Did you set any goals for 2018? How are they developing and changing?