AN ANALOG GALAXY KIND OF GIRL LIVING IN A DIGITAL-HUSTLE SCREENWORLD
AN ANALOG GALAXY GIRL LIVING IN A DIGITAL-HUSTLE SCREENWORLD
Can we please talk about how my experience with social media is destroying my raw creative expression and flow?
I’m saying it.
You might not know that when we think you aren’t listening, some of us creative types are talking about how we are dying slow little deaths. The kind of death where we wish to flipping god that there wasn’t a phone in our face (self-imposed, with extra points for great lighting) or on our art when we are creating.
We feel we *have to* have the phone in our face so we can swim (frantically) in the digital hustle of being seen ... or die a slow starving artists death.
AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHT.
(Here’s a little sidenote: I am fully aware this approach works for many creatives out there, and I am truly very happy for you AND inspired by you, and the way you are able to masterfully juggle the art of social media + its vast opportunities for self-promotion + how it brings abundance to you. This is not my reality. In this post, I am not speaking from my heart about YOUR reality. I am talking about MINE … and other creatives I have dialogued with).
Here’s what it looks like for me:
***** VERY FREQUENT GENIUS FLASH OF INSPO ****
“Holy sh*t. I need to create This Thing. Woooooow.” … and I’m all heart-eyed and starry-eyed like an actual emoji because
You need to know that I transform my life through my creativity. Pick apart each morsel of beauty / sorrow / curiosity / soul questing / trauma / ancestral legacy / interpersonal relationship / etc bit by bit through the ALCHEMY of PURE ARTISTRY. So in my flashbang vision there is NEW LIFE to express, feel, process. There is a GIFT for anyone who resonates with it. There is COLLECTIVE HUMAN STORY and TRUTH in all of the rawness that I pour out from the floods through my body like a thousand full-bodied orgasms per millisecond that feel like a galaxy of a hundred batrillion stars and I am so in it to win it, because for me, creating and making things IS the core definition of who I am. My nourishment, my oxygen, my blood, my heartbeat. If I’m not creating from this place (and often in a million directions all at the same time), and simultaneously nurturing my galaxy with my devotion to it and my union WITH it, I am dying. #fact
I wholeheartedly believe this isn’t reserved for just me. I think all true creatives have their own version of this experience.
And then I turn into a 5’4” flesh robot. How can I package this so that it is consumable?
Also known as: how can I take this luscious freaking sexy beast galaxy inside of me and smish it into a pretty lil box with a palatable label and clever copywriting?
And then my mind spins itself off into marketing-land like nobody’s business, and that genius idea settles like rotting stardust in my belly, and I become a cesspool of decomposing and fermented genius stardust clumps, all while I’m still struggling to stay visible as an entrepreneur … and GUESS WHAT. I end up feeling depressed (like crying on the bathroom floor for days depressed) because I’m not being AUTHENTIC (which in and of itself is a crock of crap because authenticity is what I teach, people! I mean! UGH!), and all my stardusty genius has rigor mortis and begins to decompose my actual life force ... but that's supposed to be okay? Because it doesn’t ‘fit’ with my ‘brand’ or isn’t ‘consumer-friendly’ or speak a ‘consistent message’ to my ‘target market’?
WHICH REMINDS ME
My target market is the human race. Ugh. PLEASE let me out of this whole nightmare of narrowing down my message so that I fit one cozy little demographic! I'm an artist. Not a tamed-out toned-down niche in the demographics dictionary which was probably designed by some a-holes who think everyone should fit into one tidy little category so the world could go to hell in a hand basket of highly manipulated materialism and consumerism? Does anyone else but me see this as generally being a very serious issue in our world?
And then suddenly it’s the year 2019 and every. damn. thing. I invested my digital-hustle energy into in the last 6 years is broken anyway and I am looking around saying: Wait? What happened?
What happened is that I have been morphing, clusterf*cking, and muzzling myself in order to fit into a hustle screen-world when I’m *actually an ANALOG GALAXY* kind of gal.
Literally recently someone told me nobody’s going to ‘get’ my new body of work, like they didn’t ‘get’ my book … so, like, why don’t I just make things that people like?
BECAUSE I WASN’T BORN TO PLEASE THE MASSES OBVS BUT ANYWAY
Oh and by the way …
***NEITHER WERE YOU***
But back to the packaging and the branding and the marketing …
For me, the boxing up of my innate magical mystical GENIUS disrupts my deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep instinct to create, to tap into the flow, to BE the flow, to BECOME the fire and nourishment of the creative act, to let it take me, have its way with me, and transform me as I transform it in the most amazeballs kind of holy union.
*Boxing it up f*cks up my alchemy.
*Packaging creativity is creative kryptonite.
*Pretending to not sell while actually trying to sell makes me want to puke.
And I know being on the receiving end of it makes you puke too.
All the selfies, all the Insta stories, all the other ways I’ve sold out to the selling process?
It pulls me right out of myself into an external marketplace before the alchemy has had its way with me, before I have fully given myself over as its chalice, its creatrix. So I am robbing the sacred energy of creativity, myself, and YOU as the human race and my ‘target market’ (eye roll) I am here to offer my gifts as creatrix to.
I’ve fooled myself into thinking that visibility = survival when it’s actually killing me (not so) softly …
… and I’m spending more time than I’d like to admit in some kind of black hole punctuated by fluffing up my hair for selfies and counting ‘likes’, hoping for ‘visibility’ and ‘conversion’ based on consumable packaging rather than authenticity.
And I totally suck at all of that.
Except fluffing up my hair. I’m really good at that.
I just need to be fluffing up my hair for my own intimate process with my wild and unhinged creativity.
LET ME REMIND YOU: I get it that this entire process that doesn’t work for me does work for some creatives. I am not condemning their experience. I’ve believed in it, I’ve lived it, and I’ve tried it. And it’s real for a lot of people. But not for me.
Both, and all, experiences can be true. They can co-exist. That’s another post though, about how TWO ACTUAL THINGS can be true at the same time. It’s really real. I’ll save that for another day when I am also feeling defiant.
I am talking about MY EXPERIENCE and what fellow artists have shared with me in literal whispers ... because long ago we digested the message that we are supposed to be good little artists and sell our souls to earn our right to be creators.
(We are afraid if people knew how we felt they would un-follow us. Stop taking our classes or buying our art. Think we are ungrateful to have the visibility our friends and followers choose to give us. We aren’t ungrateful though, that’s the twist.
*We are so grateful for the love that you give us through your loyalty and literally putting the roof over our heads that we actually have forgotten who we need to be in our own skin*.)
Many creative entrepreneurs are also feeling this way:
Struggling with how to balance creative actual life with what we are supposed to present. Wondering how we can possibly compete with the masses while spending our time trying to craft The Cutest Newsletter Ever and putting pretty pictures of ourselves skipping through our lives 20 minutes after we’ve had a panic attack about paying the rent.
So there. I said them out loud. The things you aren’t supposed to say out loud.
There is a huge smart-ass tone to this post, and a whopping dose of a Provocateur. But honestly, it’s a feeble and transparent attempt to cover up a shit ton of worry about how to be REAL in a world that’s increasingly driven by curated screenscapes of contrived bullshit.
I can ask myself hard questions, but I don’t know the answers. If I knew the answer, I’d just get on with doing it.
Is there a better way?
I don’t know.
And. At the same time I do know that within a matter of moments, I’ll be offering up posts inviting you to engage in commerce with my paintings, my workshops, or my books. When that happens, you and I will both know that my offering is coming from analog stardust, resurrected … even if offered through the screenscapes of the digital realms.
I may have just answered my own heaving questions.
It suddenly seems so simple.
Perhaps I just need to live and create in my sensory bliss, in my own analog galaxy.
Then offer my gifts to my people through our digital spaces.
And always, always, always fluff up the world with the stardust in my hair.
PS. Between you and me, I thought it might be nice to speak a little truth.
Because every time I sit to craft The Cleverest Post Ever, this is the only thing my fingers and thumbs will actually type. I’ve been trying otherwise for weeks, believe me.
I give up.
Fingers and thumbs … and ANALOG GALAXY GIRL … you win.
Would Mozart have spent 8 hours a day scrolling?
Would Picasso, Klimt, or Kahlo have given a rats about collecting followers?
Would Einstein have taken Udemy classes on outsmarting FB algorithms?
Would the genius poet Mary Oliver, who just left us, tell me that The Soft Animal of My Body loves to siphon off my creative impulse into marketing campaigns?