I’ve been working for months on a planner sticker business. I’ve been busily creating stickers and kits and all the things.
Yesterday I watched a video from a well-known Etsy planner sticker creator and after less than a minute, I was like, I’m doing this all wrong!
I’ve been creating my stickers in Procreate on my iPad and then using my cutting machine software to create the sticker sheets. I’ve done the designing, cutting, layout – pretty much everything aside from drawing the stickers themselves – in my cutting software program.
This particular creator showed how they did all of that in Photoshop first, so all they had to do was drag and drop a couple of files and then everything was set up and ready to go. I just sat there with my mouth open, thinking, Why? Why would you do it that way? How do you set up the cut lines if everything is one image? A million questions suddenly flooded my brain and I immediately began to doubt everything I’ve accomplished so far.
Imposter syndrome is real, y’all.
After freaking out for a few minutes, I had a little pep talk with myself. It’s OK if I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. That was the point of this whole blog, after all. To let other people watch me fail and see that it’s OK – that’s how you learn.
I’m me, and how I accomplish something doesn’t matter as much as if I accomplish something. And after watching the video, now I know a different way to accomplish the same thing I’ve already been doing. Which is good – now I have options.
So I’m going to take what I have learned, and apply it to my future endeavors. There’s probably a million and one things I’m currently doing that I could do faster and more efficiently. But as long as they’re getting done, I’m going to call it a win.
I love blogging, I really do. Sometimes just the process of getting my jumbled thoughts out of my brain onto the screen is all it takes to make my day better. But there are some things I don’t like about blogging. Some are just annoyances, but some are things that make me want to avoid blogging all together. I guess my ego is bigger than my dislike, since I’m here. 😀 Right, on with the list!
#5. Dealing with the technology
I consider myself pretty tech savvy, but I am by no means a tech person. I liken it to driving a car – I know how to operate it; I can fix simple things – gas, flat tire, blown fuse, etc., but some things are beyond my skills – broken engine mounts (which aren’t apparently as terrible as they sound), broken shifter linkage, suspension issues, and the like. Same with tech – I can operate my blog and fix simple things, but sometimes things break and I have no idea how to fix them.
One of the reasons I have my blog set up the way I do is that I didn’t want to be responsible for security and other tech issues. Maybe someday I’ll feel that confident, but not yet. Technology is great – as long as it works. 😛
#4. Finding people to follow and interact with
This is a big one for me. I’m naturally an introvert, and I spend a lot of my time alone – some by necessity, some by need. I like to people watch and observe – interaction is difficult for me and not something I feel adept at. So just hopping over to someone’s blog and commenting does not come naturally. I’m constantly afraid I will come off as rude, condescending, or at worst, ignorant.
Has anyone ever made me feel that way? No, of course not. Have I ever felt that way about anyone who interacts or comments on my blog? Nope, never. Just my own demons following me into the digital realm.
I also apparently suck at searching for other like-minded blogs to follow. I have a wide range of interests, but it can be difficult to find blogs to follow even then. Like everyone else, I’m looking for good content, but also consistency. I’ve found some great blogs, but then discover that the owner hasn’t posted anything in months.
#3. Blogger’s block
I suffer from this a lot, mostly because I have that little voice in my brain that says that no one will care about what I have to say. Plus, as mentioned in #2, I think consistency is important, so I try to stick to my posting schedule. The pressure to post regularly can lead to brain drain, and I have trouble finding a topic I think is relevant that I want to post about.
These days to combat blogger’s block, I either go draw or I go for a walk. It’s amazing what a little exercise can do to get my neurons firing. Even if I don’t end up finding a topic, I can at least get myself out of that negative headspace you get into when you are blocked creatively.
#2. Bragging about yourself
I don’t think most people start a blog thinking, “Hey, I need a forum to brag about myself.” That said, a lot of the time, that’s what it feels like I’m doing. Ultimately, I’m trying to get people to listen to me, follow me, and hopefully, spend some money on things I’ve created.
But that darn imposter syndrome is always there, lurking behind me. There’s always going to be somebody who is better than you at whatever it is you’re doing. I think we’ve become so conditioned to compare ourselves to others that it can be extremely hard to recognize when you’re doing it. In the same way, we’ve been conditioned not to brag about ourselves and I find it hard to do. (Though now that I think about it, social media is mostly that, so maybe it’s just me?)
#1. Stat tracking
This is my absolute least favorite thing about blogging. I want to grow my audience and attract followers, but keeping track of all the stats just gives me a headache. Again, I understand the basics, but drilling down too far makes me want to scream. Numbers are not my thing – words are.
Plus, I am never sure what stats are more important. Visits? Views? Comments? Number of followers? Keywords? Ugh, I’m making myself tired just writing about all of this.
While there are things I don’t like about blogging, what I do get out of it more than makes up for it. It’s work, for sure, but I enjoy the process, even if I don’t think I’m good at it sometimes. But that was the point behind this blog – to be public about my successes and my failures. Now, if I could just figure out how to clone myself so I have time for everything I want to do!
Last time I was talking about my (lifelong) tendency to procrastinate. I hope I’m doing better (past me is writing this, so I hope future me is doing better). However, I’ve been dealing with a lot of Imposter Syndrome lately.
For those of you unfamiliar with Imposter Syndrome (lucky you!), it is defined as ‘the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.’ (Dictionary.com) Basically, I feel like a fraud and that at any moment, someone will discover that I really have no idea what I’m doing.
It’s the opposite of the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is defined as ‘a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is.’ (Wikipedia.com)
I wonder if there’s any way to trick my brain into switching one out for the other?
Every time I sit down to try and work on designs for my (eventual) store, I am beset by doubts. Nothing seems good enough. That little voice in my head starts whispering about how I’m not trained, I’m a hack, an amateur, a fraud. Then the very next day (or sometimes sooner), I am looking at other people’s work and thinking, pfft, I can do that!
The Imposter Syndrome was so bad that my Cameo, after sitting in the box for two weeks, sat for another two weeks in my office before I actually tried using it. And I only did it then because my husband was busy working on some designs of his own and wanted to use the machine to cut them (he was making vinyl decals).
I nixed him getting to use it before I did, so I finally sat down and tried cutting out some sticker files that I had purchased on Etsy. (That is another failure story, so keep an eye out for that one.) So, I have now used the machine and learned a few things, but I am still suffering from both Imposter Syndrome and my usual procrastination.
Meanwhile, my husband is busy creating designs and cutting out decals in his spare time and has decorated several of our vehicles with them. Le sigh.
How do you deal with procrastination and/or Imposter Syndrome?