How to Make Your Internet Hiatus More Effective

There has been a lot of talk on the blogsphere lately (at least in my circle) about internet breaks and hiatuses. The balance between real life and online life is something I’m crazy passionate about, so I thought I’d write something for those of you who’ve decided to go on breaks (or. . .if you’re thinking about it for the future).
 

1. turn off Wi-fi

Wi-Fi make the internet hard to escape because it’s always there, waiting for you to use it. Turning it off removes that urge to check Pinterest with every spare minute you have. You can take your laptop into another room, and work on whatever you need to do without having connection at your fingertips. It’ll make your internet break 100x easier, I promise.

if you’ve never turned off
your Wi-Fi before, here’s
an article that
explains it for you

 

2. delete social media apps off your phone

Unless you have rock-solid self-control, or are one of those people who can mentally decide something and 100% follow through with it, you shouldn’t kid yourself about cheating on your hiatus. My mom has this phrase she likes to quote all the time: “out of sight, out of mind.” < < < it’s good advice.
 

3. have a sibling or a friend change your passwords

Does anyone else have this problem? You decide to take a social media break, you stick it out for a day or so, and then you fall right back into your old habits. You want to kick yourself because you feel like a lazy human with zero self-control.

Me too.

Changing your passwords removes that temptation. You can’t cheat even if you want to. So ask your brothers (or better yet, your mom because she’d probably be 110% okay with locking you out of your social media. lol) to change your passwords to something they’d only know, and tell them they have to keep it a secret from you. #everyonewins

4. make a list of things you’re going to do instead of social media

Often we don’t realize how much time social media sucks out of our day, so cutting it out completely creates a void that feels like “free time.” That’s why it’s helpful to make a list of things you’re going to do when you feel like turning on your computer. Make a long list, so you have plenty of things to choose from. And don’t forget to add those necessary, boring tasks that need to get done too.

Things like:
– working out
– drinking water
– going for walks
– cleaning your house
– catching up on neglected mail

 

5. pick something to study

Depending on the purpose of your hiatus, this may or may not apply. If your purpose is to rest and refocus because you feel overwhelmed, you might want to make yourself tea and read a book. But if you’ve fallen behind on real life + creative work because social media is taking up all your time, then your focus will be productivity instead.

Last time I took an internet hiatus, I did so because I felt my photography wasn’t where it should be, and it had been a while since I did any serious study in that field. I gave myself an entire week to read photography books, and it helped so much! I learned a lot of new things (some of them will be coming to the blog soon), and I know I’ll continue to do these kind of focussed-study-breaks in the future.

. . . .

I know one thing: work is easier without distractions. This applies to education, creative work, and everyday tasks. Social media + the internet can be just another cheap + filler thing that sucks away time better spent elsewhere.

I love being a creative person and I love my work. But sometimes I don’t really want to put in the effort it takes to grow and learn new things. I’d rather be productively avoiding work, then actually be doing work. < < < < that’s when I know I need a hiatus.

I hope this
is helpful to you.
k.


|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

Have you ever taken an internet hiatus? • What was the experience like?Can you think of anything else else to add to this list?
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My Day In 10 Pictures | a tag by Lydia

A long time ago, I added this tag to the list I keep titled something like, “post ideas I’d like to do. . .someday. . .maybe.” So last week when I opened up that list looking for ideas, I was surprised to find that I had been tagged over three months ago! I read about bloggers apologizing for being late at doing tags, and you know what? – now, I know what it’s like to be the late one. (so sorry Lydia).

Today is March 25th, but these photos weren’t taken today because getting photos off my camera is a long process that invokes Dropbox + hours of editing with a cup of coffee and music. But. . .they were all taken within a short time of each other and they’re all accurate reflections of my typical Sunday.

 

Sunday | 3.25.18

morning

0600 / Mornings are my favorite time of day. I love the feeling of getting up before everyone else and sitting quiet with a cup of coffee until the sun rises.

0630 / Sunday is the day when I comment on all your blogs. I like setting aside one day of the week to “batch comment” because then I don’t have to worry about it throughout the week.

0655 / Time to feed the goats. sometimes I can hold them off until 0700, but it’s not happening today. They’re starting to wake the neighborhood. The day is warm, so I run barefoot to the shed and toss their hay over the fence. I catch the last of the sunrise before I go back inside.

0800 / turn off laptop. make bed. rinse out coffee cup. chores.

0845 / breakfast.

 

afternoon

1200 / Lunch. Seriously, the best part of being an adult is cooking your own food.


1500 / Feed the goats again. Help Brothers with homework. Write my to-do list. Sit and study for a while because I have a pile of photography books to go through.

I’m currently reading:
– Digital Landscape Photography | Michael Frye
– Understanding RAW Photography | David Taylor
– The Blood Race | K.A. Emmons (I finished it already, but still. . .)

 

#shamelessplug –
Kate is a stellar person
and you really should read
her book bc it’s amazing.

1600 / Working out is not a habit I like making, but it’s a necessary one, so. . .
earbuds in.
running shoes off.
2 miles. stretch.
(POI has some high-intensity tracks for running, just FYI)

 

evening

1740 / Almost time to start dinner, and like most days, I turn on music while I cook.
(I listen to a lot of soundtracks, guys, I’m sorry).

1830 / dinner + sunset. My house faces west, so the lighting while I get dinner on is amazing. And it’s been raining nearly ever day this week, so the clouds are rolling in and making beautiful shapes.

1855 / dinner. clean up. family devotions. shower.

2000 / (publish this blog post) work on a project in front of Netflix #notprocrastinatingjustmultitasking

2100 / lights out.

 

What I learned was: a). this harder than it looks. b). Taking photos (and only ten), and setting them within a theme (your day) – it’s the recipe for a great photography project. So I really, really appreciate the tag, Lydia, and I hope you liked it. 😉

 

hope your week
is lovely.
k.
postscript #1 – all photos
(except the header)
are mine.

 


|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

What’s on your weekend routine? • Are you a morning person or a night person?

Wired for Story | a smallish book review

I was originally going to make this a twitter thread or something,
but I decided that since I haven’t done a book review in a while,
this is the perfect time to write another one.

I heard about Wired for Story from Abbie, and since I have a habit of picking up books recommended by people I know on the internet, I went out and picked up this one. Even though I am not writing fiction at the moment, I was still interested to read Cron’s perspective on storytelling.

I have read quite a few “writing books” over the years. But this one is in my favorite’s list for two reasons:

A. it’s helpful. wildly so.
B. it’s straight-up honest.

 
It’s is the kind of book that has something helpful on every page. The ideas build on each other so much that you want to underline the whole thing at once. It has scope and details, and practical examples – and a lot, a lot of “writer myth” corrections. Cron really knows what she’s talking about.

Let’s get into it.

 

What is Story?
– and why people are the best judges of what story is.

I love that storytelling is at least as old as humans are. I love that, with the exception of very few people, most of us would grab a novel over a history book. And that, give us writers a very important task: to write stories that ignite the spark that sits doormat inside each of us.

Knowing why and what triggers these sparks is what Wired for Story is all about.

Think about your favorite book or film – how did it make you feel? Alive and inspired? Or maybe it struck you so hard in the chest that you wondered if you’d ever be able to breathe? All those feelings you felt were because your brain is wired to understand and embrace a good story.

But if you can recognize “good storytelling” you absolutely can recognize “bad storytelling.” Even if you can’t explain why it’s bad, you just know. It just doesn’t “feel right;” it doesn’t hit the right triggers; it feels fake and uncommitted.

Wired for Story is all about identifying what your brain expects a “good story” to be, and how you can use this information to write better stories. In each chapter, Cron tackles a specific cognitive secret, and then shows you how it applies to storytelling – your story. She approaches every angle of storytelling from the perspective of your reader. This was especially interesting to me, because a lot of writer books focus on the writer. But Cron showed me that the best thing you can do is write with your reader in mind.

So what exactly is story?

“A story is how what happens affects someone who is trying to achieve
what turns out to be a difficult goal, and how he or she changes as a result.”
|| Wired for Story, pg. 11

 

Writing is Algebra
– or, why you need to learn what makes a good story

As with every form of art, there are two parts equally important. There’s the fire and the algebra. Fire is the passion behind the craft, the sleepless nights, the motivation. But algebra is the how, the technical, the rules – it’s learning the why behind whatever it is that captivates you.

This is so so important for writers because you aren’t just writing for yourself. You are writing to be read someday. And if your readers cannot connect with your story because you didn’t study algebra, you will miss out on one of the greatest opportunities a writer can have – the chance make something that impacts people.

I want to briefly talk about some of the key points in Wired for Story that really struck me.

 

characters

My favorite point she makes about characters is this: Characters need a believable reason for everything they do, everything they say, and every thought they think. And that reason must be believable or else the reader feels cheated.

For example: you would never allow your pacifist city-girl to shoot a man in cold blood, just because the plot demands that she get arrested so she can meet her long lost father in prison by the end of the book.

 

plot

Most, I’d say, would define plot as: what happens in the story. But Cron argues that traditional definitions of plot leave out a critical part of storytelling – the characters. She defines plot this way: what happens to the character and how he/she changes as a result.

That sounds like the definition of story, doesn’t it?

When you only define plot as what happens in the story – without the characters – it feels disconnected and stale. There’s a bunch of things happening (and maybe they are epic, high-stake kinds of things), but the reader can’t make sense of it because it doesn’t feel organic or natural – meaning: not connected to the the characters. The story doesn’t change the characters, or maybe it changes them in ways that don’t make sense (which is why you have to get the character right, first before you can work on plot).

The plot should only make sense from the perspective of the character’s inner desires, thoughts and actions – not the other way around. Plot should never dictate what a character should think or do or say. Stories with plot that indicates what a character should think, do or say (this is called putting plot before character) never work because the reader knows, deep inside, that he/she character would never do/say that.

Readers will demand a reason behind very action and consequence in your story. They will not be satisfied with shortcuts, because they are wired (gosh, I have used that word too much today) to see the meaning behind everything. They will not want to read about how a middle-aged man survives an earthquake, they will want know what that earthquake cost him.

Did he change?
How did he react?
What did he lose?


The way I see it: plot and character are almost interchangeable. If the plot can only reflect the character’s inner desires, thoughts, and actions – then plot is something like the verse that says, “as a man thinks, so is he.” (also: what he does)

 

But! I’m not a writer!
– you should still read this book

Here’s the thing: you will encounter “bad storytelling” in your lifetime – whether or not you’re a writer. Chances are, you’ve already encountered it.

You know, the character who cheated on that other character even though she was in love with his best friend? Or the character who said something contradictory to what he said two episodes ago? Or the villain who you can’t imagine that he’d carry that kind of motive?

So wouldn’t you like to understand why your brain instinctively knows what bad storytelling is? Wouldn’t you like to know why that character’s motivation/actions didn’t set with you?

I would. I love the feeling when I understand the why behind something.

In February, I finished a TV series right around the time that I read Wired for Story. Now. The show is good. I liked it. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that writers weren’t being true to the characters, even though I understood why things happened the way they did. It disappointed me sometimes because, I thought the characters deserved better.

Reading Wired for Story really, really gave me a lot of perspective about the mistakes writers make, and the shortcuts they take in storytelling. I realized why I wasn’t connecting with the story as much as I would have liked to. And once I understood that, I started thinking of ways I could improve the plot based on what I thought the characters should have done. So my brain was working to overcome what I was watching, and turn it into something else.

My point is: once you know what storytelling mistakes look like, you’ll see them everywhere. You’ll know exactly why your favorite books resonate with you the way they do. You’ll understand the shortcuts made in movies. And most of all: you’ll understand that storytelling is hard, hard work.

So.
Read this book.

 

What This Book Taught Me
– because lessons are good, am I right?

just a couple of things. . .

1) story is less about a “big, grand idea” and more about patterns, conflict, and change
2) writing is a demanding profession, not for the faint-of-heart
3) story is an art, yes, but it is also a science and if you what to get it right, you need to understand it
4) writing is communication. you should always write with your reader in mind
5) all readers subconsciously ask questions, and if you learn to anticipate those questions
and answer them, you will write better stories.*
6) writing is more about the details you leave out, than the details you put in

*questions like:
What is the point?
Why should I care?
Why does she feel that way?
What does it matter, anyway?

 

 

hope your week is lovely.
k.
postscript #1 – and just so you know, Abbie
gives excellent writing book suggestions.
postscript #2 – all photos (except the header)
are mine.

 


|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

Well, have you read Wired for Story • (if not, Abbie’s and my opinions should be enough to convince you). • What’s your favorite writing book and why?

#TheBetterHumanProject | your photos! + blog tag

Once upon a time (at the start of my January Series, actually), Abigail Lennah left me a comment with an idea – a really cool idea. So we sat together (virtually okay, because we live in two separate states) and planned out a way to let all of you into the idea. #TheBetterHumanProject is the result.

If you haven’t read about it – here’s my twitter thread from a couple weeks ago. And since I promised to feature your photos on my blog, that’s what today’s post is.

 

Keira | Resilience

Resilience isn’t something I’m good at. I stop when things get hard because I grew up in a culture where success and comfort are valued more than endurance.

I’m not talking about “you tripped on the soccer field” kind of resilience. Or the resilience it takes to get through math class. I’m talking about the kind of resilience where the only way out is through. The resilience it takes to survive a war, or being alone. That force inside you that says, I will not back down. I will not give up.

So. I want to get better at doing things I admire in others. To become the definition of resilience, “able to recoil of spring back into shape after bending, stretching or being compressed.”

 

 

Hanne | Aware

As part of #TheBetterHumanProject, I’m making my word AWARE. I want to be more aware of myself: to take care of myself when I need it, to understand my own needs when I need it, to see when I’ve crossed limits. I also want to be more aware of others: of their needs, of their feelings, of their time. Lastly, I want to be more aware of God. I want to see when He is moving, I want to see when He needs me to move, and I want to see when He wants me to wait.

 

 

Abigail | Perspective

Something I always strive to do and tell others is to gain perspectives— the ones in ourselves, our friends, or even those whose thoughts and opinions may highly differ from ours. Everyday, I constantly remind myself the situation is not black and white. Gray areas exist and are so much bigger than what we could comprehend.

Sometimes we look for things, too, and may not see what we may want to look for! But just hold on. Things look monochrome, but from this, we can perceive depth. We can perceive and gain understanding. We can perceive and hold out knowing one day, amidst all of the clash everything, there is more to life than meets the eye. So look around. Can you see it yet?

 

 

#The Better Human Project, blog tag
– our effort to see if anyone else wants to participate

At first, our idea was limited to social media, but we didn’t really get the response we’d hoped for. Then Abigail asked me if we wanted to branch out and make it a blog tag. She thought some of you might be more interested in a blog tag vs. a post on social media.

I said, let’s do it!

The idea is the same. You write a word/phrase on a piece of paper. Then you take a photo of that paper and then write a paragraph (or longer, if you wish) explaining what your word/phrase means to you and how it reminds you to be a better human.

For social media, you would hold the paper over your face and take a photo with it. But I thought we could branch out from that, and allow you guys to come up with your own creative ideas to display your photo. You could. . .pair it with your coffee, hold it over a creative background, tack it to your gallery wall, write it in your bullet journal – whatever you want.


here are the guidelines in a simple list:

1). write a word/phrase on a piece of paper
2). take a photo with that paper – as creatively as you wish
3). write in your blog post what your word/phrase means to you
+ how it reminds you to be a better human
4). add #TheBetterHumanProject somewhere in the title of your post
5). link back to this blog post, when you mention this tag


For social media, we wanted it to look cohesive, so we asked that you edit your photo b/w. But since this is a blog tag, feel free to edit your photos however it best fits your blogging style.

Please do let us know if you decide to do the tag! Abigail and I would love to read your thoughts and leave comments. I use twitter a lot, but instagram works too, if that’s better for you. Abigail can be reached on her blog, and her twitter.

 

One Last Thing…

You guys know how much I love aesthetics, right? So I put together a collection of ideas for how you could aesthetically display your piece of paper. Enjoy.

 

cheers.
k.
postscript #1 – all collage photos are via pinterest,
I do not own any of them.
postscript #2 – I am taking an internet + blogging
break for a while. I should be back the
middle of March (give
or take a few days)

 

Introducing The Hardworking Creative | an interview with Hailey Hudson

Today’s post is special for two reasons.

1). it’s Thursday (and you know I never post on Thursdays, lol)
2). I’m participating in a blog tour for Hailey Husdon’s new brand – The Hardworking Creative.

So. . . what exactly is THC?

The Hardworking Creative is dedicated to equipping creatives with the tools they need to be successful. A website for creative living, and working.

“. . . [it’s] a place where creatives are celebrated. Whether you’re a writer, painter, filmmaker, graphic designer, violinist, dancer, actor, you name it – if you pride yourself on both your creativity and your work ethic, then you are welcome here. If you’re looking for your people, you’ve found them. ”
|| THC, mission statement

 

I’m so excited to interview Hailey, and
celebrate with her the launch of THC!

Tell us a little about yourself. Your hobbies? Dreams? Goals? How long have you been an artist?

I’m a nineteen-year-old author, blogger, and freelance writer from the mountains of north Georgia. If I’m not writing, I’m working for a nonprofit that tutors kids or coaching 8U softball. My hobbies include reading, working out, and obsessing over Broadway; my dreams and goals include becoming a bestselling YA/MG author, expanding my freelance client base as much as possible, and having a positive impact on the lives of hopefully hundreds of younger girls. I’ve been an artist for well over ten years—ever since I started writing “stories,” dancing, and playing the piano when I was little.

 

How long have you been writing? Do you hope to turn your writing into a career?

I’ve been writing fiction since I was in elementary school, and my freelancing career began in late 2016. I’m so grateful that I’m slowly turning my freelance writing (primarily fitness writing) into a full-time career, and I’m working hard on doing the same with my fiction! It would be such a dream come true to support myself solely by getting up each day and writing stories.

 

What inspired the idea for THC? What do you hope will come of it?

This website came about because I wanted to find my people. I’m proud to consider myself a hardworking creative—but I didn’t think I had many friends who could be called the same. So I started looking. I discovered that I knew more hardworking creatives than I thought, and I decided that I wanted to create more opportunities for collaboration with them. I want THC to give young creatives the tools they need to make it. This means content talking about advertising, money, and branding—all of the things that I needed someone to tell me a couple of years ago, but no one did. An ebook is coming soon, and maybe some merchandise; and eventually I’d love to have a job board on THC to help young creatives find reputable online jobs in their field.

How/why did you choose the name “Hardworking Creative”?

I chose the name “Hardworking Creative” because so many people these days seem to focus on just the creative side of things—which is great. But you can have all the creative talent in the world and still go absolutely nowhere: if you want to accomplish something, you have to work for it. So I hope to inspire young creatives to put in the elbow grease that’s necessary to make their dreams become their reality.

 

Are you looking for more artists to become involved? If so, how can they?

Yes! If someone is interested in being interviewed as a hardworking creative, they can let me know via the contact form on the site—I won’t be able to fit everyone in since it’s only one interview a month, but I plan on creating other opportunities associated with THC that everyone can be involved with.

 

Where can people follow you?

Instagram: @haileyh412
Twitter: @haileyh412
Facebook: Hailey Hudson
Blog: Now All I Know is Grace

 

Where can people follow THC?

Instagram: @thehardworkingcreative
Twitter: @thc_creative
Facebook: The Hardworking Creative

 


Hailey Hudson is a young author, blogger, and freelance writer from the mountains of north Georgia. She loves coaching softball, obsessing over Broadway, and playing with Sophie–her beagle puppy. Find her at her personal blog or at The Hardworking Creative.


 

Be sure to head over to THC, and
wish Hailey a successful launch day!

 

k.

What Inspires Me | a collab with Ella Marie

Hey guys,

I have a rather simple post for you today. It’s a collaboration that I’m doing with Ella Marie, to answer the questionwhat inspires me? If you don’t know already, Ella has dedicated her blog this month to collaborate with other bloggers. So when I reached out to her about collaborating, I was so happy she had a spot left! Be sure to go check out her blog too, because she’s answering the same question.

And now, my answer. . .

What inspires me is a really broad topic because I have found inspiration in just about every place you can imagine. This world is full of things that can spark ideas, so I don’t think that you can confine inspiration to a box and say, this is where inspiration comes from. If you’re open to it, you can find it.

That said, all the things I mention below are pretty common. I’m willing to bet they have inspired you too. But just because we all get our inspiration from the same place, that doesn’t mean that we all get inspired from exactly the same thing. I might be inspired by soundtracks, but you might be inspired by opera singing. So. . .there will be a few links to things that have personally inspired me, and hopefully if you get the chance to check them out, they’ll inspire you too.

 

conversations + people.

If you know me at all, you know that I adore conversations. And so a lot of my life/blogging ideas are fueled by the kinds of conversations I have – with my dad, with friends, with friends online, with myself (yes, I talk with myself. who doesn’t?)

I also want to say that blog posts are a form of conversation too. Blog posts are one of my biggest sources of inspiration (especially for this blog), and I want to thank all my blogger friends for spreading ideas and inspiring me.

you’re the best.

 

music.

Music inspires me, period. Music is such a universal thing, that it’s almost like, “duh, of course music inspires people.”

My favorite music right now is:
– The Imitation Game & The Danish Girl || Alexandre Desplat – He’s my favorite composer right now.
– The Greatest Showman – particularly “Million Dreams,” “From Now On,” and “The Other Side

 

visuals + aesthetics.

The visual world is broad, so I’m going to focus on just two aspects of it: the part that inspires me to write, and the part that inspires my life.

the part that inspires me to write: this involves creating Pinterest storyboards, and settings, and character faces. I find this especially helpful for when I don’t feel like writing. I just scroll through my storyboards and most of the time I come away with an idea. I also love creating storyboards for movies and books, just because I love making beautiful things.

the part that inspires my life: this can involve anything visual – Pinterest, film, notebooks, handwriting, websites, succulents, baby goats. Seeing something well done, and visually aesthetic, just feels good and makes me happy.

 

sermons

This is a big part of my life. I love listening to sermons while I’m working outside or cooking or cleaning my house. Sermons inspire me to think differently about the Bible and theology – in ways I haven’t before.

I listen to:
– Rob Bell – sparingly, but also there are so many good ones from him that I don’t know where to start
– Eric Ludy – not exactly “sermons” but definitely inspiring.
– Bill Cloud – this one is so so good.

 

non-fiction books.

I feel as though I should mention that all books inspire me at some level. But to say that all books inspire me is the same as saying that music inspires me – it’s redundant. I want to particularly focus on non-fiction books because although they are a bit harder to appreciate, they are just as helpful for inspiration.

Some of my favorites are:
– The Sunflower || Simon Wiesenthal
– Man’s Search for Meaning || Victor Frankl
– Unbroken || Laura Hillenbrand
– The View from the Cheap Seats || Neil Gaiman
– The Creative Habit || Twyla Tharp
– Braving the Wilderness || Brené Brown – actually, you should go read everything she writes

 

one last thing.

Ella suggested that we make a personal aesthetic board for this post, and I totally agreed (we share the same love for visuals). So. . . here’s mine .

just looking at this inspires me.

 

hope your day is lovely.
k.
postscript #1 – all collage photos are via pinterest,
I do not own any of them.

 


 

|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

What’s been inspiring you lately?

Dear Artist, it’s okay to have a regular job | January Series no. 5

It’s become a habit for me to start these with an example, hasn’t it? Let’s do it one more time.

Artist’s friend asks what Artist does for a living.
Well, says Artist, I make art.
Well, says Friend, Isn’t that kind of, you know, expensive?
You can’t really make money doing that, can you?

The thing is: plenty of people do make money from their art. But plenty of us think that in order to be a legitimate, successful artist, one must make money from their art.

I’m here to say: that’s a lie. I do not believe that in order to call yourself an artist, you have to make money doing it. You do not have to make some big, crazy jump into the unknown. And you certainly do not have to devote every single waking moment to art.

 

“. . .for most of history people just made things,
and they didn’t make such big freaking deal out of it.”

*Liz Gilbert’s words,
not mine.

 

There’s this idea of work-separation in our culture. That there’s creative work, and there’s regular work. People who work at a desks or drive trains are not “creative people,” they are “regular people.” But people who compose music and paint murals – they are “creative people.” This is why a lot of artists believe that they can’t live + work in the real work, and still make art.

But that’s a lie because…
If you are alive, you are a creative person.

The idea that you’re merely a hobbyist, or an amateur if you aren’t making money from your art is crazy. It suggests that true legitimacy comes only if people think your work is great enough to buy it. And like we talked about last week, you are the only person who can decide your own legitimacy. You are also free to make art without the obligation to share it with anyone. Would I still make art even if no one paid me to do it?

I’m not saying that creating art will never be your real job. I’m saying that you should never feel embarrassed or shy about having a real job for as long as you need to. If/when the time comes that your art can support you, GO FOR IT. But until then, you absolutely don’t need to worry that your art has to pay the rent money too.

One of my favorite books on creative living, puts it this way:

“Money helps, to be sure. But if money were the only thing people needed in order to live creative lives, then the mega-rich would be the most imaginative, generative, and original thinkers among us, and they simply are not. The essential ingredient for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust – and those elements are universally accessible. Which does not mean that creative living is always easy, it merely means that creative living is always possible.”
|| Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

I read a novel recently, called Little Fires Everywhere. In this novel, Mother and daughter are living together in an apartment they rented from a wealthy family. Mother is an artist, a film photographer. She spends all her extra time with photography. Sometimes her photographs sell to art galleries and collectors, and she gets a little extra money to buy shoes for her daughter. But this Mother doesn’t just make money from her art, she holds down a half dozen other odd jobs that she pools together to pay the rent. She works as a waitress two nights a week, she cleans houses on the weekend. She buys her daughter thrift store clothes, and she finds art supplies at garage sales and flea markets. She arranges her art around her life. And in this novel, is a line that makes my point exactly:

“. . .her mother’s real work was her art,
and whatever paid the bills existed only to make art possible.”

 

 

The Illusion of Time
– why we think we need uninterrupted time to create, when really, we don’t

People feel that if they get a regular job, they won’t have time for art. And I get that. It’s probably true (depending, of course, on what kind of job you have, and its expectations of you). But if your job doesn’t give you enough time for art, you should probably find a job that does (just as if one pair of jeans doesn’t fit, you buy a pair that does. You don’t stop wearing jeans altogether).

Here’s what I think:
too much time can be just as dangerous as too little time.
– we use not enough time as an excuse, because we doubt ourselves.

We all dream of uninterrupted time, don’t we? Writers, especially, dream of the kind of hermit-life that doesn’t allow them to be bothered or spoken to. Sitting for hours and hours, writing alone in a cabin with open windows and the smell of coffee. Burrowing underground, surrounded by nothing but nature and time. The idea of uninterrupted time sounds wonderfully romantic, but unless you have someone willing to fund your existence so you can live in a hobbit hole, dreaming is all you can do.

I would argue that having less time can actually push you to create better: For example: you’re a writer and say, you work full time in the electronics section of BestBuy. You write every morning before you head off to work, and you write after you get home (if you’re lucky, you write at your lunch hour too). But because you only have two or three opportunities to write a day, your brain is pushed to anticipate those moments. When you finally sit down to write, you almost can’t wait the length of time your laptop takes to turn on.

I’ve had this happen to me dozens of times. I put my creativity on hold, and then my brain started to anticipate the fun I’ll have once I sit down to create. I work creativity into little moments – in-between laundry loads, in the car, after dinner. Creativity is important to me; I make time for it.

So whatever style of person you are: whether you love uninterrupted time, or you love to create in a rush, please don’t feel like you have to carve out enormous chunks of time. Don’t feel like you have to put aside your art to work in the real world, no more than you can put aside your smile or your laughter. You can bring your art right alongside your real life, because art is real life. Creativity can be folded into everyday moments.

“Most individuals have never had enough time, and they’ve never had enough resources, and they’ve never had enough support, patronage or reward. . .and yet still they persist in creating. They persist because they care. They persist because they are called to be makers, by any means necessary.”
|| Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

 

 

Your Job Can Fund Your Creative Life
– in more ways than one

One of the biggest issues I have with the “hermit-artist-type” is that it ignores the fact that the world around us is our greatest inspiration. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in public spaces and seen or heard something that I immediately wrote down because it related to my story. Usually it was something small, but it was special all the same.

And the thing is: what I saw and wrote down weren’t things I could have picked up in the wilderness or in whatever place people go to escape the world. I wasn’t going to learn all the things I know about how the world works if I hid myself away from it. That’s why I believe: the best ideas aren’t found in solitude, they are found in everyday life.

*of course there’s
something to be said for solitude.
It’s permanent solitude
that isn’t healthy.

 

Let’s use again, the example of our writer who works at BestBuy. I guarantee you, she will learn what she needs to know about people from conversations at the lunchroom table; the disappointed stare of an unsatisfied customer; and the moment when her boss gives her a kind word at the end of a very long day. She’ll learn about the world from experience – and there’s a lot of inspiration in that.

The world is a wonderful place for artists. It offers everything we need for inspiration. And I think artists want to shun that in the high-and-mighty name of solitude. The idea that we can create better by ignoring the world and branding ourselves as a “special kind of people that dislike the company of other people.”

I’m not saying that people who don’t have day jobs are seeking solitude. I follow some pretty amazing creatives who have vibrant social lives and are doing just fine. But I don’t want anyone to think they have to quit their life, or become a hermit in order to be an artist.

So…I want you to remember:
It’s totally fine if you don’t fit into the typical hermit-artist mold.
I don’t. And I still call myself a creative person.
You’re fine. Just keep creating.

cheers.
k.
postscript #1 – if you ever want inspiration
for creative living, I highly
recommend Liz Gilbert’s
Magic Lessons podcast.
postscript #2 – also, Abigail Lennah and I
are doing a super cool collaboration
and we’d love you to be apart of it.
More details here.

 

|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

What do you think about day jobs for artists?For, against, or indifferent? • Do you have a day job? If so, how do you still make time for your art?

Dear Artist, it’s okay to be proud of your work | January Series no. 4

Let me open with a process you are probably all too familiar with:

Artist gets an idea. Artist is so so happy about said idea. Artist takes that idea and tries to make it into something. Artist spends a lot of time with that idea, and…sometime during the process, Artist decides his work is stupid and why did he even try it in the first place. Then, Artist gets on social media and types out a tweet about how his project isn’t working.
This Artist labels it with something like #RelatableArtistStruggles, or #LookingforInspirationButCantFindIt.
Artist, then, spends a lot of time wondering if he’s really, truly an artist

If you’ve stuck with me this long, you know social media has been a big, big part of this series. And I’m probably going to keep talking about it, because it infiltrates nearly every corner of our lives. There’s a lot of artists hating on themselves and their creativity – and they use the online world to do it.

One of the reasons why I think we do this is because it makes us feel better when other people respond with, oh my gosh, I relate so hard. There’s a kind of connection and fame that comes with writing about how horrible and hard creativity is. You don’t often see artists writing about how they find joy in their work, because really, who relates to that?

In short: #WriterProblems is far more likely to get re-tweeted, than #WriterVictories.

When I was just starting photography, I didn’t really understand how valuable it is to love your own work. I didn’t think my photography was any good because I didn’t have fancy equipment (that’s a whole other discussion right there). I had to learn the hard way. So instead of going out and taking photos, I would spend hours researching great photographers and camera models. I bookmarked photographer blogs. I envied photographers who bought their first DSLRs at thirteen, traveled with their model friends, and got 15.5k likes on Instagram.

Yeah, I’m really glad I don’t do that anymore.

I remember stumbling across one photographer on Instagram. At the top of her feed were great photos. But as I scrolled down, I realized that she hadn’t always taken great photographs. Her earlier ones were nothing to be recognized. The editing wasn’t natural, the composition didn’t catch my eye. They were clearly beginner’s work. This shouldn’t have surprised me, and it didn’t, really.

Instead, I was surprised that she, seeing where she is now, would still leave those “beginner photos” on her profile. I was shocked that she didn’t just delete them, because they represented that time when she was learning and figuring things out, and didn’t know what she was doing.

how can she live with the fact that these photos are still online? I thought, why doesn’t she delete them?

But I had been looking at her photography the wrong way. I compared her work then, to what it is now, and failed to realize that she had once loved those “beginner photos”. She loved them enough to share them on Instagram, and that’s exactly what she did. Those photos, back then, were the best she had to offer. They were not as good as the photographs she takes now, because she has learned. She learned to take better ones.

I’m really not proud of this story, but I share it because it illustrates the exact kind of thinking I had to overcome. I should have realized that it’s okay and well and healthy to be proud of your work, now, right at the level that it is. That doesn’t mean you will always be proud of it. You might create something better down the road, (and you will, I promise), but now…

It’s important to love your work, now.
Because hating it isn’t going to make you a better artist.

I remember when I used to hate the photos I took. They frustrated me because they didn’t look like they got pulled off tumblr or pinterest. I would post photos on Instagram, and then go back a week later and delete them because I had doubts about how they “looked”. My photography didn’t look like – this, or this, or this, so to me it was like: what’s the point anyway?

That was my world for a long, long time.

But you know what it taught me? to stop treating my work/art as if it isn’t the best I have to offer right now. right now, it’s beautiful. right now, all I need to do is: keep creating, just keep creating.

I think one of the reasons we hate our work so much is because we believe that, in the end, our work will always be horrible, we won’t get better, and we’ll never be able to finish that draft or that painting or that project.

Our greatest fear is: I will never make anything that matters.*

*that’s a lie
so please, please
don’t ever think that.

But when you throw that beautiful gift of creativity skyward because…

a). it doesn’t look like someone else’s work.
b). it’s too hard
c). it sucks
d). you’re not good at it. (yet)
e). it doesn’t matter to anyone

you do a disservice to yourself. Creativity might be scary. Creativity might be hard, yes, but it’s even more damaging when you hate it. And besides, you really have to ask yourself this question: why am I doing it, if I hate it so much?*

*Aimee gets credit
for this one

 

Goodness, if you hate your work that much, find something else to do. Life is too short.

 

 

Comparing Your Art to Your Art
– instead of someone else’s

 

While I was looking for another personal story to share with you guys, I found this photo I had taken in 2015. And I thought I would show you how I used to edit photos vs. how I edit photos now ( because it might help you see that even though you think you aren’t moving forward, you actually are).

2015

In 2015 I really didn’t know what I was doing. My dad had gifted me Photoshop the year before, but I had found it completely overwhelming. I actually didn’t use it until I got my first camera, and even then, I spent more time editing with other people’s actions than I did learning how to make my own. I figured that if I used actions made by professionals, my photos would turn out just like theirs.

*to clarify, “actions”
are a Photoshop term
in Lightroom they are
called “presets.”

 

 2016

By 2016, I was way more comfortable with Photoshop. I still used a couple of presets that did simple things like warm, cool, or lighten a photo (but those were used only to save time). I did a lot of “clean editing” in 2016. Simple, light, minimal contrast. I actually still love the way this edit turned out.

 

2018

I have been using selective color since 2017, and it’s easily my favorite editing tool. I created three different sc layers on this one, grabbing from presets I created last year, and then tweaking them a little. The only preset I used was a “warm” one that I use all the time. All it does it warm the photo, nothing else. It’s a bit moody, and saturated (which along with clean editing, is what I love).

^^^^ When I look at these photos side by side, I feel progress and growth. Even if I doesn’t feel like I’m learning anything, the work shows that I am learning. I am making progress, and getting better.

I think instead of comparing our art to other people’s art, we should compare our art to our art. <<< that’s where you’ll see how far you’ve come, and it won’t be as easy to get discouraged with the art you are making now.

When I look at how I edited photos in 2015, I’m not proud of it at all. But because I no longer feel proud of the way I edited that photo, that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from it.

I know the day will come when I look back on my 2017 and 2018 photos the same way. They’ll remind me of the days when Windows XP was the latest operating system for home computers. But until then, I’m proud of those edits, now.

 

Let’s Get Really Practical
– how to be proud of your art.

– create a lot of stuff. create stuff that fails. take lots of notes. document why it failed. remember: you don’t have to share every piece of art you create with the world.

– share those things that give you a kick inside. share that drawing that makes you happy when you look at it. ignore that doubting voice.

– don’t compare your art to someone else’s unless you can learn from their art. compare your art to your own art, and let it give you inspiration to keep going.

– accept compliments. face it: people are going to think that your art is great even if you don’t. stop telling yourself that those people are lying to you.

– let your art be good, even if it isn’t flawless.

read Julia Cameron. she will make you love your art for what it is.

read Twyla Tharp. she will give you practical exercises to develop your art.

– don’t expect it to come overnight. it takes time. lots of time.

 

I’ve been doing photography for three years, but it’s only been nine months or so since I’ve really started to be okay with where I’m at. Which means that I have learned to leave my work as I’ve shared it. That means I can’t delete old work on Instagram because I get doubts about it later. I have to accept what people say about my photography, even if sometimes I don’t believe it myself.

I’ll tell you, it feels really good to plug my camera into the computer and not be filled with the urge to throw out every single photo. It help my creativity, a lot. So I keep some photos, I keep a lot of them. I share a lot of them too.

Because I’ve learned…
Hating your work is not going to make it better.
Comparing your work is not going to make it better.
Doing more work – that’s what makes it better.

Let’s stop thinking about art and creativity as if all that matters is: flawless, flawless art. Let’s just focus on growth. Let’s allow our art to be what it is without tearing it down because someone else did it better.

 

cheers.
k.
postscript #1 this video
and this post . enjoy.
postscript #2 – if you want to listen to
a really inspiring talk about
creative living, listen to this.

 

|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

What is your favorite part about being an artist? • Have you ever hated your own art? What do you do to silence those doubts?Have you ever gone back and looked at your old art and compared it to what you create now? • What was that experience like? I’d love to hear about it.

Rest is Not Legalism | January Series no. 3

I’m writing this at my kitchen table. I have a cup of steaming coffee besides me, my bible is open for reference on the side. It’s Sunday (a week or so before you read this). It’s still dark outside because the sun isn’t rising until at least 06:44 these days.

I want to talk to you about rest. Specifically, a day of rest, and why it’s important. I am going to use the word “rest,” as much as I can, because you probably already know another word people use for “day of rest”: Sabbath (or Shabbat, which is waaayyy more fun to say). The reason I will use rest, is because I don’t want you to conclude that I’m Jewish or 7th Day Adventist, or anything. I’m not. I’m just a regular person who doesn’t like labels.

I bet I can guess what you’re thinking already. The moment I mention Sabbath, you are going to ask me one of two questions

a). “Well, aren’t you, like, living in legalism?”

b). “Well, didn’t God do away with Sabbaths/resting and all that?”

I get those questions a lot. And I do have answers, but the answers are complex and would take a while (certainly longer than this blog post). My point here is not to debate or prove that Christians should keep Sabbath. I don’t think Sabbath can be proven intellectually – at least, not entirely. Instead I’m going to talk about heart, because I believe that’s where it’s at. I do love the intellectual side of things, but I don’t quite have space to explain it all to you and still feel like I did the topic justice. So we’ll leave intellectual arguments aside for a moment, and instead talk about purpose and intent.

But back to me, sitting at the kitchen table, writing this with a cup of coffee…

 

An Introduction to Rest, as Rhythm

How many of you have a morning routine? That series of things that you do every morning before you head out the door to work, or school?

You know the importance of routine because it does wonderful things for you. It gives you consistency, and predictability, a general rhythm to things. Even if you’re the kind of person who hates routines and checklists, I guarantee there are a few things in you life that you do on a daily basis.

You know there is a time for everything. Mornings are for getting ready, evenings are for getting ready for morning again. Weekdays are for working, and weekends are for resting. The world would be a crazy place if we didn’t have a process for how we do things, even certain times to do them.

I’m reminded of a verse that says, “To everything – a season, and a time to every delight under the heavens.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is rhythm built into creation.

In this culture of fast-paced, 24 / 7 accessibility, we have forgotten rhythm. We’ve forgotten the ebb and flow of time, as if we think the ocean could survive without the moon. We tend to view rest as a side-note, something we can skip because we don’t have time, or because it’s for lazy people. Humans are chronically aware of the ticking clock, and we smother that awareness with work. With work, we can forget our troubles, and since we hate being reminded of our troubles, the solution is…say it with me: more work.

Americans specifically, are addicted to the hustle. Even if we understand that rest is important, we get caught up in the lie that says, your worth is in what your get done, and if you are not getting things done all the time, you are lazy and wasting your life.

Rest is a rebellion against the work-cycle because it reminds you that your worth is not in your work. You are more than the bricks and buildings you make. Human being, not human doing, right? Rest is a tangible sign that you recognize your work doesn’t define you.

God wired humans for productivity, sure. But if all God cared about was our productivity, He would have made us into super humans that didn’t need sunlight or food or sitting down on the couch because our legs are tired. He would have made us with the ability to function without sleep (wouldn’t that be nice?).

No. Instead He gives us a gift. Something built into the fabric of creation, our bodies, everything. A gift out of kindness and benevolence. Because He loves us. He knows that given the chance, we will work ourselves to death in the name of productivity. But He loves us too much to let us break ourselves down on the hamster-wheel trap of work. He reaches down and tells us: I want you to take one day out of that crazy week of yours. Just one day to be with Me, and rest. You are more than what you do. I made you to be…

Rest forces you to pay attention to your life. It’s a weekly check in, how are you doing, and how can you do better? For crying out loud. REST IS BEAUTIFUL.

 

Rest is Not Legalism
– but it could be, depending on your perspective

I am going to address this concept of legalism, because it’s one of the first things I hear when I tell people I keep Sabbath. People get really worried about me, as if I’m committing an unknowable crime, or putting myself under bondage (it makes me laugh to think that rest – not work – is bondage, but whatever).

Our first thought about anything related to the Old Testament seems to be: none of those laws are relevant because we are saved by grace. And so, by extension, keeping Sabbath can’t be done because it’s part of the OT and we are now saved by grace and grace alone.

The reason why we tend to associate rest with legalism, I think, stems from the parts in the NT where Jesus is confronting the religious leaders about the law of Moses. It can appear that Jesus taught legalism and “‘the Law” as brothers. We see this most clearly in Scriptures where the Pharisees accuse Him of breaking the Sabbath. But first, some context…

In the first century, keeping the Sabbath was taken very seriously. Religious leaders debated long about exactly which was the “right way” to keep it, even going to far as to “define what counts as work, and what doesn’t.” We know about a some of these boundaries from the text. They had what was called “a sabbath day’s journey” – or, the maximum distance anyone was allowed to walk on the Sabbath. A sabbath day’s journey was 2000 cubits or.57 miles. They also believed that carrying your bed, or threshing grain with your hands was work if it was done on the Sabbath. And because Jesus was caught breaking all of these “laws”, it’s easy to think that He was actually against the Sabbath.

But it’s important to remember that nowhere in the OT does God command that you can’t walk more than .57 miles, or that you can’t make your bed. He doesn’t say that picking a few heads of grain is work (although threshing with a plow certainly is). The commands for Sabbath are really straight forward – don’t work and don’t make anyone else work.

As with most of His teachings, Jesus wasn’t addressing outward keeping of the law as much as He was addressing the heart. The heart was really the deeper problem, and correcting the heart would lead to a proper understanding of the external things. It didn’t matter how many commandments you kept, if your heart was far from God. If you forsook justice and mercy, but you tithed a tenth of all your spices – what worth is that?

Jesus was correcting a misapplication of Scripture – the idea that you can use God’s Law as a checklist to gain righteousness.

I hate when people use legalism to describe anything that God does, because legalism feels like scarcity, and scarcity is never God. Legalism is slavery: you work and work, hoping to earn something – like salvation – in exchange for your “goodness” as a person. You do this, God does that. And if you fail, you lose because your righteousness is bound up in perfection. It’s a constant cycle of never doing enough, never being enough. Think of the Hebrews in Egypt. They made bricks. If they didn’t make enough bricks, they were punished.

The only way that rest can be legalism is if you misdefine it as such. That’s what the Pharisees did, that’s what people do today. We get caught up in outward things, instead of looking at the heart.

You absolutely can attach legalism to anything God says. You can live as though everything God says comes with the condition, obey Me or else. But that isn’t the way God intended you to live.

There’s this verse in Jeremiah which says that God, in the new covenant, will write His law on His people’s hearts. His law will be in your heart. Do you know what that means?

It means that His law will no longer be something you read on paper or stone, and think, okay I better do this because God said so. No. It will flow naturally from you like a running stream. You’ll be walking side by side with Him without even trying to. You’ll want to do everything that He wants because your heart is intertwined with His.

We need to make a distinction between God’s Law as a gift, and His Law as a command. Sabbath is both, but Sabbath- at its highest point, is a gift. An invitation to leave material things behind.

 

Rest as a Joy, and not a Burden


I’m still at the kitchen table. My coffee cup is dry because I have taken so many breaks to sip from it and decide what I’m going to write next….

I have been doing Sabbath for close to four years now. And I would never go back to anything else.

Sabbath is hard to explain because it’s like trying to prove that God exists. I don’t have anything to compare it to because it’s not an intellectual thing. There is no physical blessing I can pinpoint and say: this happened, and God blessed me here, or here. If you asked me, I’d say that I feel more complete and my life is better in ways that words can’t explain. I feel so incredibly blessed by it, that I want to laugh when people tell me otherwise.

Sabbath becomes a totally wholesome addiction. I don’t feel bound to keep up with the world, because I’ve found freedom apart from it. I took myself out of the rat-race everyone else is running. But it wasn’t until I stepped out that I realized how much I depended on it. It’s like when I take a day off social media, I realize how many times I instinctively reach for my phone.

On Sabbath…

The dishes pile up.
The laundry sits.
The emails go unanswered.
The phone gets turned off.*

 

*still working
on that, actually.

 

“Sabbath is a day when you act like the work is done, even if it isn’t.”

 

*credited to
the amazing Rob Bell
who understands rest
like no one else does

 

I have never regretted the decision to take a rest day. Sure, I miss out on things. And sometimes I am tempted to compromise (there’s this thing happening somewhere, and I can’t go). A lot of concerts and creative things (especially for photographers) are on Sabbath, but at some point I have to stop using what I’m going to miss out on as an excuse.

And I get it, rest can be hard. It feels like laziness to say, “No. I won’t go there or do that, or spend that.” And even crazier to think of an entire day of doing nothing. Don’t you see my to-do list? God, really? You can’t be serious.

But I promise you, there’s freedom in rest that can’t be found anywhere else. If you’re thinking, “Oh, rest is too scary for me,” remember: it all starts with realizing that it’s okay to let the world go on without you. You won’t miss out on anything you can’t live without. Instead you’ll be living a freer, more complete life.

 

 

cheers.
k.

 

postscript #1. Rob Bell is my favorite
resource for Sabbath because
he understands it so well.
I highly recommend his podcasts,
The Cellular Exodus“, and
Letting the Land Lie Fallow“.
His book, How to Be Here,
has a great chapter on rest.
But the same ideas can be
found in these podcasts (for free!).

 

postscript #2 I hear Heschel has
an incredible book on the subject –
Sabbath and it’s Meaning for Modern Man.
I have yet to read it,
but I’d still recommend it
because Heschel has great work.

 

postscript #3 For a theological-ish
approach to Sabbath, check
out this article.

 


 

|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

Was this post too terribly long? • I thought about splitting it into two parts, but I couldn’t figure out a way to divide it cleanly. •Also, how did I do distinguishing rest from legalism?What are your thoughts on rest and Sabbath? • Is resting hard for you, or easy?

Social Media is Whatever YOU Say it is | January Series no. 2

I have been thinking a lot about social media lately. You can probably guess that from my post last week. I have been thinking about this since early November, after I read a couple of posts about how other bloggers struggle with social media, and I thought, yes that’s me too. But today I want to write in clearer, more “practical” terms about what social media actually is.

It’s the new year, besides. I could use the reflection.

I think we have this idea that social media is an entity in itself. That it acts on its own, and does whatever it wants. That’s a nice thought, (and certainly less complicated), because if you ever wanted to change social media all you’d have to do is go back to the source and change it. One click and you’re done: social media is restored.

But social media doesn’t have that kind of power. It only represents the ideas and perspectives of the people who use it. And as of 2017, roughly 81% of Americans use social media. (that’s a lot of sources).

It’s like this:

If *50% of the population believes that murder is okay, you’re going to see their ideas represented on social media (you’re also going to see a lot of people fighting back and saying that murder is wrong and those people are nut-cases and should be prosecuted).


*obviously, this is totally made up
but it illustrates my point nicely.

 

This explains why I feel so torn about social media: that it’s the greatest and the worst thing. Because social media is only as powerful as the people who use it. If people use it for evil, that’s what it’ll become. And if people use it for good, that’s what it’ll become.

Sometimes I see a thread like this, in my feed. And I feel inspired that the world is really not as hopeless as I think it is.

And sometimes I’ll read something like this*, and think, wow I really hope I read that wrong.

You know what I’m talking about.

*seriously, the only
political reference I’ll make
in this post, I promise.

 

This is why social media is a weird paradox of good and evil and indifference. Because it’s showing me all the perspectives, opinions, and shades of grey that exist in the worldat one time. And that’s depressing, because while I feel like racism doesn’t exist because I’ve never seen it, someone, somewhere is going to tell me that I’m ignorant because I don’t live in their town where kids are afraid to walk to school because of their skin color.

One of the things I see on social media is when people speak about their experiences, it doesn’t matter how they word it. Someone, somewhere is going to say, hey! you’re stupid and you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Not everyone is going to say, hey it’s fine you don’t get what I’m saying. I can’t expect you to. You’re not me. Social media is a roller-coaster because it represents people. It can be frustrating because you’re exposed, at once, to every single perspective on the face of the earth. You have a greater, larger audience than if you just got up on a box in front of a crowd. In the crowd you might have two dozen people disagree with you. On social media, it might be two million. It can feel like you’re a squigget* in a very large ocean.

*not even sure that’s
a real word, but whatever

 

You are. You’re in the midst of an ocean in which everyone feels like they have something to say.

But here’s the thing: We can’t eliminate free choice, just because people make wrong choices. The answer is not to cut off social media to certain people. That would mean someone has to be put in charge of deciding who those people are, and that’s a road that only leads to tyranny.

What can you do, anyway?

You can only be responsible for you. You are the only one who can make your social media different, better. You are one in 7.6 billion. You cannot change the whole world, but you have a circle of people you inspire and impact every single day.

Use that influence wisely. It’s important.

Realizing that social media is a representation of different people in different places, with difference experiences, really goes a long way in helping me understand what I scroll past everyday. It helps me realize that when I post something, not everyone is going to love me.

I still might get overwhelmed with social media, at times. And that’s when I know I need a break. I don’t have to be present on social media 24/7 in order to use it for good. Neither am I willing to throw it out completely, because…social media is still is the greatest tool for worldwide connection that exists.

 

So what are you waiting for?
Go make social media a better place.
k.

 

|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

Sometimes you just need a break from it all, ya know? • So when do you know that you need a break from social media?What is your favorite and least favorite part of social media? • And finally, what can you do to make social media a better place?