*as seen on twitter

July 2021

I have spent the last 3 years or so unfocused to allow my interests to wander so that my passions might be revealed. It was a leap of faith, as I am not a trusting person by nature, anymore. I wouldn’t say that I’ve “found myself” so much as I found that I put myself last.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I see now where there are gaping holes in my discipline, where I am intimidated to push forward. Chasing your dreams is no whimsical task. Building the strength to push into a future of unknown hardships is intimidating.

I’ve sacrificed so much and failed before. But at the same time, while I might have bruises on my ego, or less than I’d hoped to have gathered, I have few regrets and have made progress all the same.

Honestly, so much turmoil could have been avoided if I wasn’t caught up in making steps and allowed myself to mull over my desires. In 2019 I vowed to ‘remain’, to be still, and in 2021 I am just starting to reap the benefits of that mantra.

I still don’t know what exactly I want. That’s the crazy thing. But I do know that there are parts of me that need to be creative. I need to write. I need to paint. I hope that my path forward has room for these pieces of me, & I hope the world has a desire to embrace my talents.

I fear what so many creatives fear; that my work put to word or canvas is not “good enough” for praise. Perhaps social media was the wrong place to be sharing my work all along. What I no longer wonder, however, is if I have talent. And that’s a heavy burden lifted off my chest.

I’ve always struggled with making friends. I’m not sure what I do wrong, but the computer has proven just as challenging a place to forge connections as any playground ever was. I think my poetry itself was born out of needing to express myself to someone else. Anyone. Literally. But I can’t tell when a person is just who they are or when I’m interacting with a person set on making their given name a ‘brand’. Not that a fault them either way. It’s the nature of what these places have become. And that’s not entirely any one person’s fault.

I’ve become a bit of a walnut, however, because of it. I don’t want to share my new work, and I’m intimidated by the process of publishing. I’m at a crossroads because I’ve loved the freedom of my own space but can’t bridge the gap to making it lucrative in any capacity.

This rat-race mentality is why I deleted a successful poetry IG and left game journalism/blogging. Even though I was able to make a small income, it was never enough to justify the time and money necessary to invest in making myself simply *visible.

For a long time this made me feel so bitter. I couldn’t afford the time or $$ to invest in a program at any of the colleges or retreats my favorite modern poets are involved in. & the friendships I’d try to build in these communities would fade just as quickly as they blossomed. And my art being ripped-off on Poetizer by my discord “friends” in the unofficial group really pierced my heart. Not to mention that the admin hardly crediting me for the group prompt felt like bad form and makes me feel like we’re not friends at all. Which considering that we’d been talking online for years hurt my feelings.

The time to remain seems to have come to an end for me, but where to go now? If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much! If you feel the same way I feel, let’s talk. If you have advice, I am humbly all ears. I want to shatter the looking glass & make your acquaintance. -♥ Paige

4 Comments

  1. In my view it all comes down to the creative process. You own that. And you own what it produces. It can function independently of any external tool, venue, or group. So follow where it leads you.
    Sorry you went through those disappointments. Just keep creating. You don’t have to know where it will lead, and you can’t know how your art will be received. Just keep creating knowing there is an audience for your work when it is time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel this too, though I’ve fortunately only been part of two fiction communities (one of which has grown to incorporate poetry forms in their teachings). I don’t put too much stock into social media, there are also only a select few people who are genuine on there and are happy for me to be absent and return occasionally and maintain a connection. I also find friendships difficult, being unaccustomed to social “necessities” and unable to assume the meaning behind peoples’ words, as they expect, only taking them on face value. It’s not a friendly world. And the online world isn’t much different. Those two communities however have been warm and welcoming, and it’s all focused on the art form I wish to create which gives me a chance to stay on track toward my goals while still developing connections. It’ll take years, but I’ve been part of one of those groups since the start of my online journey – the Carrot Ranch Literary Community – and I’ve seen those connections blossom, and have only ever experienced respect and support, as well as the challenge of advancing my fiction. This community is also the one incorporating poetry forms into their monthly challenges and even I’ve learned a few things there too.

    If you’re interested in publishing, I highly recommend just collecting the works you have and crafting a chap book to sell straight away. There are quite a few avenues that support this, I’ve heard great things about Draft2Digital from Joanna Penn’s podcast, the Creative Penn and many other places. Otherwise, listening to writing podcasts centred around publishing could help you work out what path you want to take there. The great thing about novels, fiction, poetry etc is that you can create a passive income. There’s a level of marketing required which is where social media is fantastic, but otherwise, it can become passive. I’ve found the WordPress reader brings in a lot of organic traffic, and it’s grown overtime with how much I interact with other writers through the Ranch. And it’s all genuine. It’s been a wonderful place and I’d love to see you over there some time if you’re able.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rebecca, this is great advice and I will check out publishing a chapbook. I feel like I’m floundering in the mean time. I need to move and I feel stuck in the mud. I wish you didn’t feel the same, but at the same time I feel less crazy that I’m not alone in feeling this way. I want connection more than anything. I need to get back on discord and say hi to you there later in the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t stress about discord, I’ve been avoiding it because the writing community I joined on there moved so quickly in all their conversations that I just can’t keep up. They’re wonderful people, but I don’t use it much anymore, I like the comments via our websites, it’s relevant to the work we do and the things we want to start conversations about, and it keeps us focused on moving forward. And I feel the same too, I hate hearing that others struggle in similar ways but it’s comforting to connect on that level at least, especially since connection eludes us in most other ways. It’s a nice substitute. We can create our own levels of connection, and it’s entirely valid. I don’t want to be distracted from growth by gossip and social events, it’s just not a priority. My priority is my art and my direct family. So anything that doesn’t run parallel with those, just isn’t given my energy. It’s helped a lot to think of it like this.

        Liked by 1 person

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