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Following The Tide

Following The Tide

by Anja
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I always thought of myself as a Wednesday in a world of Amanda’s at Camp Chippewa. But I’d never be bold enough to burn it down to make a point.

I’ve never fit in. Not at school, not in college, not in the entrepreneurial coaching group I was in. I did try, though.

For years, coaches told me to be on every social media platform and, simultaneously, niche down. And so I did, hoping to fit in.

I opened accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I left LinkedIn, though. The people there were too focused on their hollow selves to question anything or too busy sending their coaching programs and get-rich-quick schemes.

I created content for all three channels only to get tired of them. I had to write a newsletter, blog weekly, and write about my business while going through the worst period in my life. I was overwhelmed. I spent money I didn’t have to automate the marketing process. And yet, I couldn’t keep up with all of it. Though I made a few sales, I felt like a failure.

It felt worse when I remembered my glorious blogging days in the early 2000s when algorithms weren’t around and new blogs were much easier to find and grow. Writing was also much more fun.

To me, blogging had transformed into a chore. Its final purpose was to sell whatever I was doing at the time. The joy I had while writing was suddenly gone. My attention span got shorter following each new social media trend to promote my work. 

I had to fit in this niche of a box and create content with SEO (which this post will ignore because I suck at keywords) and algorithms in mind, which meant leaving things and parts of me out. In the process of trying to fit in, I got lost. When did writing for fun stop being a good thing? 

Fish

Years later, coaches changed their minds once more. Being on one platform and not having a niche was suddenly okay. 🤦🏻‍♀️

So I stayed on Instagram, trying to capture people’s dwindling attention for a brief time. Sometimes I spent hours writing the perfect caption, only to see how little impact it made. I grew at a snail’s pace. 

Trying to make a living using social media has been an uphill battle. The fact that I’m a terrible salesperson makes it even harder.

Things have gotten worse since Reels have become the centerpiece. I never know what’s going to make the algorithm gods happy. Hopping on the latest trend isn’t it. At least from what I gather from the analytics. It’s a stroke of luck, and you don’t get lucky very often unless you’re a big-time influencer.

In the last months, I’ve noticed how much apps want us to stay stuck to our phones. It doesn’t matter if you’re meditating, running, or going through a life crisis; your phone wants to track everything and keep your thumb scrolling. It wants to be with you all day long. The saddest thing I’ve seen on Instagram is an ad for an exercise app. In it, a young woman is working out while holding her phone in her hand! Give me a break! 

I installed a free meditation app trial to help me return to practice*. I hated it. It kept nagging with notifications not once but a few times a day. It took the little motivation I had to sit down for a couple of minutes. Same with a habit-building app. That’s when it hit me. These bloody apps are nothing more than a burden. When did we start tracking EVERYTHING? When did we hand our entire lives over to our phones?

Mermaid Cat

My time off social media and away from my phone is getting more frequent and prolonged. The longer I stay away, the more I realize how difficult it has become to watch a whole movie without checking my phone. I haven’t read an entire book in ages because I can’t concentrate long enough to finish one chapter. Writing? Instead of hours, it would take me weeks to write a blog post or email (hence my erratic posting schedule) because I couldn’t focus enough. Writing only about making dolls felt boring to me, as I’m sure it would be to you.

Don’t get me wrong. I love creating dolls, but I also like working on other things I had to keep out for marketing purposes because of the effin’ niche. 

Though I’m not very good at it, I re-discovered my joy in drawing, playing with watercolors, and learning new things that ignite my creativity. I realized that I get bored if I stick too long to one thing, and my passions are many to stick to just one.

Spending time away from the constant noise of social media has been liberating. I’m no longer interested in working for an AI that determines what deserves to be seen or not based on standards only it knows. Nor do I want to ride the coattails of viral content, hoping to reach new peeps.

I don’t know which direction this blog or my little enterprise will take. I know posting things outside my niche might harm my business’ growth, but so does staying in a box. And the little Wednesday wants to get out of it. For once, I will let the tide take me where it wants me to. Maybe I’ll finally discover the path where I belong.

Perhaps you decide not to stay along for the journey, and that’s okay. I thank you for being a part of it so far. 💛

If you stay, I’d love to hear from you throughout the journey. Maybe we can share directions along the way.

anja

* I do have Insight Timer installed on my phone. It’s the only app I use when I meditate. I can set the timer to my liking or find many other meditations if I get bored doing my regular practice.

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