I wanted to write this post to share a few things that have been on my mind and heart lately. Originally, when I started my blog, it was a space for me to create and share--even if no one ever read it. Along with my blog, I decided to start posting my photos on Instagram to share my creative outlet with others. To give a bit of a history, I've always loved writing. This blog was a place for me to do just that--like a journal. I've been writing as a means (and my favorite way) to create since I was able to read and write. As a kid I would write stories upon stories, poems, and more and compile them into binders and gift them to my parents for Christmas. I've also written in a journal every day (yes, EVERY day) since New Year's Day of 2007. Can't stop, won't stop I guess you could say.
I've also always loved taking photos and creating that way as well. I've never been artistic in the sense of being able to paint or draw, but I've always been able to express myself through writing and photos. For my tenth birthday my parents gave me a pink point and shoot camera. I loved that thing. I got a camera every year (always a pink point and shoot, but the newer model) for my birthday until I was about 14. I loved taking photos and creating stories with photographs so much that I would make my little sister and her friends let me do their hair, makeup, and style their outfits so that I could shoot.
I guess what I really love most about writing and taking photos is actually the story telling. I can easily write thousands upon thousands of words in one sitting, losing myself as I write, but as they also say "A picture is worth a thousand words." I've always had a bit of an imagination, creating stories in my head, and so taking photos and writing in any way is how I do that.
But I've lost sight of that.
It's no secret that Instagram has taken over a lot of how so many people live--and even make an income--and there really isn't much wrong with that. Social media has opened so many doors for people all over the world, and that really is wonderful. So, with having a blog posting on Instagram has almost become a necessity. I love having that app to post photos since I love taking them. BUT, I don't want to let an app on my phone dictate my life. I get a few messages here and there about things like asking me why I don't post that often, worrying about the Instagram algorithm, getting posts seen by as many people as possible, and much more. I even get these kinds of words said to me by people in my everyday life. There's always a sense of urgency with these messages though. The message that probably rubs me the wrong way the most is "You need to post." "You need to grow your following." And the like.
Something that probably rubs me the wrong way the most is the urgency in all of these messages. Like my life depends on me posting a photo, gaining more followers, how many likes and comments I'm getting, etc. First off, no one's life depends on this. Sure, you may make your livelihood through this app, and if you do that's really cool, but just like anyone else that gets laid off, fired, or quits their job, it's not the end of the world. There may be struggles, but there are other jobs and ways to earn money.
To be truthful, I've been so irritated with this sense of urgency that seems to be placed on me posting that it makes me want to post less. And if you look at my Instagram profile, you'll see that I don't post as often as I may have in the past. I think as of now I've posted about 4 or 5 photos in the last month--which isn't "normal" if you're using Instagram as a blog, income, to be an influencer, whatever.
I don't want to be an influencer, let's get that straight. I'm blunt with that because I've even been made fun of and have had unkind words said towards me (and about me behind my back) because I do post more than the "average" person on Instagram. I know I shouldn't let such unkind words get to me, but unkind words said by anyone no matter what the context pretty much always hurts. I'm not looking for Instagram or blogging or even making videos like I want to do more of to be my full time job in the sense of being an influencer.
I just enjoy taking photos.
And sharing them is FUN. Yes, I still agree to do collaborations, but I'm VERY selective with them. To be blunt, only about one collaboration each month is actually paid, and no matter what, they're always because I genuinely enjoy the company/product and WANT to create content for the company!
Kurtis and I love taking photos. He's the whole reason I began posting on Instagram and sharing on this blog in the first place! For us, taking photos is a bonding experience and although it definitely can be frustrating, we love doing it together. In fact, we're going to be doing more of it. Kurtis and I both want to take more photos and videos to document our travels--and we even have started to dive into taking photos for others. We love photography so much that we want to help capture others' special moments!
I'm also a big sap. Everything makes me cry. And that's no joke. I'm such a softy. I love being able to look back on memories. Obviously, photos and videos are a great way to be able to do so. Kurtis and I have a love and desire to travel and have many adventures and experiences and want to be able to capture and remember those moments, and as we'll be traveling much more in the future, there's going to be much more content coming from us.
But again, we'll be posting because we want to, not because we have to or because there's an urgency to do so.
I said I've lost sight of my love for writing and photography, and that's because of the sense of urgency that has been placed on me doing them. I haven't enjoyed writing or taking photos for a while because of this sense of urgency. It's take my passion away from things I genuinely just love to do.
This isn't a swan song. I'm not saying "goodbye" to social media or blogging or anything. What I'm saying is just something that has been weighing on me so much that I needed to write it down. And it feels good.
I don't even know if any of this makes sense. Sometimes it really is hard to share what is on my mind. I guess, just so it's all out there in the open and clear for anyone, I don't want to and don't really care to let blogging or Instagram or any of the such be a priority in my life so much that that sense of urgency comes along with it. It is a something I love to do, but not a life or death priority. Creating content first and foremost is a hobby for me. Any opportunity that comes along with it whether it be collaborations or experiences, etc., is a much appreciated blessing. I'll keep posting what I want, when I want for those reasons. Not because I "need to gain followers," am losing followers, or because it's my job (because, again, I don't necessarily intend for it to be as I am very happy with being an ESL teacher). I'll share because I enjoy it.
Okay, I'm done now. Just had to lay it all out there.