It’s human nature to want approval, to seek it and relish in it both online and in real life. I get that entirely, but I’ll be honest with you and share that I look to those who know me when it comes to their opinions about me. and I’m pretty good at self-reflection and self-validation.
I can treat myself like s*** too of course and be my own worst critic but that’s where my support network comes in.
They help me see the wood from the trees. They tell me when I’m being a d*** and when I’m not. Simple. I’m the first to throw my hands up when I’m in the wrong and apologise.
The thing is though, everyone wants to feel heard, and vitally, valued. I remember as a TV Director being advised by a wise Exec Producer that every single person in my crew walks around on set with an invisible sign across their foreheads which reads, ‘Value me’. From that day on, I made sure everyone knew that they mattered.
This need for validation however, seems somewhat twisted of late thanks to the (albeit wonderful) explosion in technology. Whilst I adore the democracy of the internet, I abhor the keyboard warriors who type tripe before they think.
Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. WRONG. Words can hurt.
We are, however in control of how we react to others.
Don’t believe your hype first-off when it comes to the great and good, stay grounded, learn to take criticism on the head so you can grow always of course deciphering whether you value the person offering their opinion or not- and stop valuing others (and yourself) based on the number of like/followers/page views you receive.
Whilst it’s important to keep an eye on growth and engagement if blogging and vlogging is your job, don’t let it consume or define you.
Work first and the views/following will come.
Equally, don’t follow the crowd. You are your superpower.
It’s easy to become trapped in a herd like mentally. To believe that others are better, smarter and more creative than you because they have 2789405664x more followers than you do but that’s just not how ART works. Art is subjective. ‘Since the start of time’ subjective by the way.
And we’re all artists whether we’re tweeting short stories of our lives, making animation films or painting oils with brushes.
I place value on quality content, on the creative/storyteller who makes me laugh/think/ feel inspired. I don’t need you to have awards under your belt or a million followers to receive my support and time, I just need to FEEL something. To witness emotion on screen in any/all of its glorious forms.
It’s time to return to what truly matters frankly, and what has always mattered: your VOICE and STYLE. On connecting with others in a meaningful way.
Of being unafraid to have your say, to share your life.
To be yourself.
To have integrity.
To work hard and share what you know.
To help others.
To approach living and working online with a long term view over short term gains.
You might not have the audience numbers you crave right now but hard work and consistency will prevail, as will you with a positive mindset, even it takes years. If you love what you do, why do you need it to be an overnight success anyway?
Nothing happens without hard graft.
Short term gains are just that. Remember why you’re creating in the first place.
I can’t not write. Whether three or thirty million people read what I have to say, I have to write, and film too.
It’s a need, a desire, my therapy, my love.
So next time you ponder why you don’t have 1000 RTs on that hilarious tweet of yours or 100 comments on your FB page, remember what actually flipping matters and go back to your art. Your work.
What nourishes you.
Don’t let that desire to be liked stop you from creating work you like yourself.
Channel that anxious, needy energy into doing what makes you happy.
Write. Make. Be you.
Cheers to that *clinks my Mojito.