I am in the process of trying to figure out how to increase my reach, because I need eyeballs on my work if I want to sell any of it, right?
Facebook and Instagram are out for me, for reasons I’ve discussed before. I’ve narrowed down my options and I’m starting to slowly add social media accounts as I feel able.
Social media is such a time suck for me, so I’m trying to be mindful about what I’m doing and how much time I invest in each area. Of course, drawing and creating products needs to take the bulk of my time. So where do I want to go to bring in a bigger audience?
The blog, of course, is where I started. I’ve now branched out into Ello – a social network that was originally intended as an alternative to Facebook. It’s become more of a hipster/artiste hangout, but I like the site and their privacy policies (*adjusts tinfoil hat*).
So if you’d like to follow me over there, please do! If any of you are on Ello, I’d love to follow you as well. Ello link: here.
There’s not much to see yet, but I’ll be adding content as I can. I wish Ello had a way to schedule posts, but if it does, I can’t find it. At some point I may need to start using a social media managing app like Hootsuite or something, but for now, I’m happy to manage things manually.
I’m also kicking around the idea of starting a YouTube channel where I post short videos of me drawing. Though I’m not sure how much interest there would be in something like that. But I won’t know until I try, right?
Keeping my fear of failure at bay while I venture into new things is scary and hard. But I’m pushing through. Failure isn’t the end, it’s just a learning experience!
I’ve always been the kind of person who has several projects going at once. When I was younger, I had the energy for lots of things, but not the time. The older I get, the more time I have, but the less energy.
So, that means I sometimes have to admit defeat. Not every project I start will get completed.
And that’s okay.
Failure is how we learn. My most recent failure taught me that starting over is okay.
Over a year ago, I started to crochet an afghan for my mother-in-law. It’s a simple pattern, and one I’ve made before, so I know I can do it. However, this time the pattern was giving me fits.
Every row it seemed like my stitch count got off somehow and I would have to rip it out and start over. I finally got through about 25 rows.
Or so I thought.
On row 26, suddenly my stitch count was off again, and I couldn’t figure out where. After ripping out several rows and still finding myself off, I decided to put the project aside for a while.
Fast forward to last week, when I finally picked it up again. (That old adage – “Out of sight, out of mind” – is apparently true.)
I still couldn’t figure out where I was off. So I decided to admit defeat. My frustration with the whole thing was exacerbated by the fact that I didn’t have enough skeins of matching yarn to finish anyway. (I kept telling myself I’d go buy the rest, but I never did.)
So I sat down and unraveled the whole thing. I now have a large 3-skein ball of yarn. I don’t, however, have a barely done afghan sitting in my office taunting me. And when I was done rolling up the yarn, I actually felt better.
I made a decision about the project and now I am able to let the guilt about not completing it go. My mother-in-law didn’t even know I was making it, so the only person it was bothering was me. And frankly, I have better ways I can spend my time than feeling guilty.
So if you find yourself lamenting a project you haven’t completed, think about why you are hanging on to it. Is it because you truly want to work on it? Probably not, or you would have completed it.
In the words of everyone’s favorite ice princess – Let it go! 😀
Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s talk about my latest failure. You know, the one where I didn’t post anything for months? A few months ago I was gung-ho about everything and then suddenly, I wasn’t. Sigh.
I don’t have any excuses for why things didn’t get done. I mean, I could give you excuses, but they don’t really matter. In my time away, though, some things happened that have hopefully kicked my rear into gear.
I realized that I spend too much of my time being passive vs. being active. As any English teacher will tell you, active is always better than passive. 😛
So, I am trying to be more active. Not just physically, though there is that. Just more active in general – more doing and less sitting (metaphorically speaking, since there is sitting involved in actuality). Instead of parking myself in front of the TV avoiding things, I am going to try and DO things. I fully expect to fail at this, mind you. BUT – failure is not the end, right? Quitting is. So as long as I’m trying, I’m succeeding. (Do I sound convinced yet?)
One of the reasons I avoided posting here was that, while I had things I wanted to post, they weren’t things I thought I should post. Because it’s all about the niche, amiright? But it isn’t, at least for me, and I forgot that.
So, think of this blog as a box of chocolates – you never know what you might get! Some days I may post about my fledging business, which I’m still trying to start, or maybe it will be about miniatures I paint, games I play, something I’ve read, a photo I took, or something else I created. Who knows? Let’s find out together. 🙂
I know all the advice out there says you should ‘niche’ your blog. I’m still not sure I understand why. I mean, I get wanting to be seen as an expert in your field. But I am interested in people, not in niches. When I think about it in that light, it makes me wonder about the other advice you always hear on social media – be authentic, be real. But authentic and real people are complex and multi-dimensional, not a single ‘niche’ idea, right?
As an introvert, people usually assume that I hate people. I don’t. I love watching people, observing their behavior, trying to figure out what makes them tick. Interacting with people is a completely different thing, though. Because I’m an introvert, I’m socially awkward. I mean, I can handle being in social situations, but I don’t generally enjoy them. Mostly because I don’t understand them. If you don’t really care how I am, why are you asking? I want to talk about deep and meaningful things, but most social conversation is completely superficial.
Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked, sorry. This post is about why this blog likely won’t fit into a neat little niche. The purpose behind it is not to present myself as an expert about anything, but rather to (hopefully) show people that with success comes a lot of failure. I think that people are so afraid these days to fail at anything that they prefer to do nothing. But you don’t learn if you don’t fail. I think that’s a lesson that so many people miss. We’re so focused on success that we forget it is driven by failure.
I decided to start a business, and as is usual with me, I jumped right in with both feet. But after spending a week or so researching and doing some paperwork, that darn imposter syndrome showed its ugly face. Suddenly, the whole prospect seemed incredibly daunting. I have no idea what I’m doing; what was I thinking?
Then I started to really head down the rabbit hole. I don’t even really use social media – I have no ‘following’ to promote this business to, so how in the world am I going to get sales? Then I started researching selling online and all the new tax and privacy laws in the US and elsewhere and it really started to get overwhelming. How am I ever going to make this a success?
Then one day, in the midst of all my angst, I thought, why the hell am I worrying about all this? When I originally decided to start the business, I told myself that I wouldn’t worry about failing. If I did fail, then at least I would have learned something. If I fail, I’ll have lost some money and some time, but at least I will have tried. I’d regret not trying more than I’d regret failing. So, here I am.
If you’re expecting this to be a blog about only things relating to an online business venture, you might be disappointed. I will write about that, but other things interest me, and since this is, after all, my blog, I will probably write about them too.
I’m opening at Etsy shop selling planner stickers and vinyl decals. Topics you may encounter in this blog: starting an online home business, cutting machines (like the Silhouette Cameo), stickers, planners, vinyl, decals, sales tax, using Etsy, etc. I may also write about things like fonts, software, blogging, writing, creating, art, being an introvert (and sometimes a hermit), my tinfoil hat theories (shh, don’t tell anyone about these), and you may encounter my snark/sarcasm.
If any of those don’t strike your fancy, no problem. The internet is a big place, and this is just one tiny corner of it. If you’re interested in watching me fail (or succeed), then slap the follow button and let’s go!