It’s no secret to those who know me well that I am going through a grumpy spell. I think I am just tired of trying so hard to be fabulous. I mean, seriously, fabulous is hard to maintain for extended periods of times. Sometimes you just want to go back to slumming it. Sometimes you have to get back to your roots so to speak. Back to basics.
I’ve been on this blogging adventure for a little over a year now. It’s been a busy year of yelling, “Hey, look at me! Look at me! Look at me now. Look at me here…look at me there…look at me everywhere.” I’ve been sharing my paintings and writing all over the Internet like a woman on a mission. Like a woman with a job to do. Like a woman with a desperate need for attention.
I am a woman with a desperate need for attention. I will admit that openly. I am home all day with a toddler demanding milk (no, juice. no, milk. no, chocolate. no, put my shoes on. no, take my shoes off….) and dogs and chickens. My point is, nobody around here has any interest in my art making or my blubbering on and on about life and family. They are all, “We were there, remember?” So I have thrown myself at the feet of the Internet and begged people to be my friend, to listen to me, to respond. I have tried extra hard to be fabulous because I want to win at blogging and life and work. I’m competitive and driven. I like goals and success and feeling purposeful. I like to work. I like to work hard. That is just my nature.
The thing is, I’ve become a sales person. I am working hard at the wrong thing. I am selling my personality or my art or my brand constantly. I’ve become an inbox salesman desperate for one more like or retweet or kind word. It’s gotten a little exhausting to keep up with myself. I am not naturally fabulous so I sometimes want to curl into a ball and take a nap because being fabulous is really hard work. It drains me of my energy. I’m an introvert masquerading as an extrovert, but my mask is slipping off. It’s like doing your taxes without a calculator. Or, trying to put fake eyelashes on without a mirror. Being popular is also fickle and a little empty. It’s not something you want to be building your life’s work on and yet, it seems to be the only way in our social media frenzied world. We are all sales people now. We are all trying to yell, “Look at me!” louder than the person standing next to us. I don’t know about you, but my voice is starting to sounds hoarse.
I’ve realized lately that I have been spending too much time trying to be fabulous and not enough time doing my actual work. I want to write better and paint more. I want to grow professionally as an artist, but how can I do that when I spend so little time actually making art? I think I lost my way over this past year. I’ve been way too focused on being popular and it has taken its toll on me. Popularity has never been a strength for me. I mean, I offer high school as an example of that. It’s not like I am going to wake up one day wearing a cheerleading uniform and dating the quarterback for the football team, right? I am not going to wake up covered in glitter with money floating down from the sky and into my pocket. This is not a made for TV movie no matter how hard I try to make it look like one.
Anyway, I have characteristically been over-thinking my entire Internet experience and doing some reevaluating. I’ve read a lot of instruction manuals on how to make your blog fantastic and popular and amazing. I’ve read about SEO and strategies and niches and platform cultures. I’ve worried about posting too much or too little. I’ve tried Triberr and blog hops and link ups and hootsuite. I’ve learned how to do all sorts of things I never imagined I would be able to do. I figured out Google authorship and Google analytics. I became an Amazon affiliate. I’ve made some good friends along the way. I’ve read some great blogs along the way too. I’ve formed groups and jumped through hoops and entered contests and sold a few paintings. I’ve been like the dancing bear at the circus, tutu and all. The thing is, it’s making me a little twitchy. I’m not being metaphorical or funny, I really am twitching. Trying so hard to be fabulous can get pretty stressful. This is where I am right now. Pushing buttons and doing a little twitching.
Suddenly, I am just tired. I want to retreat back to painting and hiding out and being quiet. I am tired of asking people to look at me, or to read me, or to think my painting is swell. I am tired of shouting, “Look at me!” I am tired of worrying about being popular. I just want to take a nap and eat something and maybe play dolls on the floor with my daughter. I want to be a person again and not just a Facebook admin or an email account owner or someone with a blog begging people to read it. Just writing all of this I am getting bored with myself. If you are thinking, “Quit whining!” I don’t blame you. It’s not like this is some huge revelation or something. People all over the Internet are probably coming to this exact conclusion at this very moment. I’m not special. I’m just tired.
After all of my research and practice and hard work, all I want to do is get back to the basics. I want to write, and I want to paint, and I want to stop trying so hard to be fabulous.
I should be writing about St. Patrick’s Day since I’m Irish. Read about last year here.