My brain has been all over the place this past weekend, awash in too many thoughts to really keep track. Just when I think I had some things pinned down, another would come my way. It was tiring, and working on chores was a helpful distraction at some points. But when my feet were throbbing and I was covered in dirt and worn out… here they came again.
Today it kind of clicked for me, the need to search for more outlets for my creativity and learn to put myself out there. This blog has been most helpful in a lot of respects, allowing me to learn from others and help them out when I could, or just be oddly entertaining at times… or at least try, whatever. And I’ve had fun doing it with a sense of anonymity, because of my privacy concerns.
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how much this has been a handicap that’s extended so far in my life.
Spending time cleaning and cursing at stubborn nails I was hammering in my shed all weekend kind of helped me put things together. I’ve hesitated to do a lot of things that would put me out there in the world because of my paranoia. It doesn’t help that I have a very unique name and would be easy to look up if anyone tried to, and some people have in old jobs and the like that I never wanted to have access to my e-mail or phone. I’ve had to endure cyber-stalkers in the past, and get rid of media accounts because of people making comments or trying to get more info on me.
I’ve written about one of them before a few times, and I still cringe when I remember sometimes.
But in this society where NOT having a social media account might be regarded as trying to hide something or being suspicious, I feel like I’m shooting myself in the foot in some ways. I don’t think I’ve even touched my Facebook account in months–probably been hacked by now and used by trolls or some shit, so I should just go ahead and delete the damned thing.
The tricky thing is about the balance between privacy and wanting to be more personal at the same time. That would be damned hard to do, but I want to be able to help someone and if asked (and I wanted to answer), I could point to it as my work and not have a bunch of folks that I know exposing a lot of other crap I don’t need said.
This desire for privacy is also why I’ve hesitated to really get back into writing. I should write my stories again regardless, or look for online work, but I was trying to figure out why I never seemed to get to it, even after all these months. I realized that I have no clue about how to keep my anonymity with a pen name and get paid at the same time (and yes, I’ve been looking into it). Again, my birth name is unique as hell. A quick Google search and it wouldn’t take these guys long to realize what I was up to if I published under my name. And then they’d find a way to get my contact info.
That thought has left me cold more than once. I didn’t even realize that that was what I LET hold me back for so long. I stopped trying to make my mark in the world and put myself out there because of fear of exposure to people I never wanted to see or hear from again. And that has kept my creative drive in a terrible prison of my own making.
It’s time to break out, and be strong with what may come. And if nothing does, then awesome; I’ll stop living fearfully, at least.
I want to find a way to get into vlogging occasionally, here or on another site. I want to put myself out there without dread or shame or anything, with sensible precautions, of course. The trouble is, I’m realizing how hard it’s going to be just to start. It seems if you really want to get things you do noticed, you have to cross-post to half a dozen other accounts. Who the hell has time for all that? You tweet this and Instagram that and Facebook this… whatever.
I want some control and structure with what I want to provide, not just something that gets casually passed along for the trolls to eventually devour. I have only had two social media accounts that I can remember. I can’t even count how many platforms there are now, and things change so much so quickly, who is to say putting all your effort into this particular social media platform will even work six months from now?
I admit, except for blogging, I generally can’t stand the idea of much social media out there. It’s a sea of mess to me, and I don’t get it. Everything is subscribe to this or Patreon that… I like some folks on YouTube, but apparently they require Patreon to keep afloat since YouTube’s payment policies on vids have changed related to ad revenue or something. I’d be broke if I gave $5 to everyone whose content I admired online. And that’s another hurdle–how the hell does anyone make this work without spending 8 hours a day doing it? I also am dreading it slightly because if I went into vlogging, it would take a helluva lot of work to learn some basic techniques to make vids look more professional and have helpful stuff intercut with the content. I haven’t messed with my video editing software in ages.
I’m spending the day tomorrow working with my schedule and making changes as needed, and also making a plan for the next 90 days (and onward) regarding my goals in life and my goals online/career wise. I’m actually taking the time to dare to dream again, to not just live in my head.
I’m daring to imagine that I could put myself out in the world without fear or doubt in myself, and just do what I could to be me, and make it work out. Maybe I could and nobody would be interested; or maybe plenty would be interested.
I just want to know deep down that I gave it a shot, and then gave a lot more as I kept learning. But I have to do something to create opportunities and take care of myself, mentally and physically, because the status quo is not going to work much longer. And I wouldn’t want it to.
It’s going to be a fulfilling and interesting summer.