Blog hope via @RockablePress

After a sleepless weekend of trying to figure out how to better manage Social Media, I made a decision. I keep seeing this  “How to build a successful blog business” ebook from Rockablepress.com. I’ve been hesitant to buy this book mainly because I think I should be able to find everything I need just by perusing sites. However, this has clearly not been working for me. I’ve been trying this social media/blog business for about a year now and still have had no success, no comments, no user interaction. In all honesty, it’s getting pretty old. I’m tired of feeling like a failure. I research all the time how to make this better and I still haven’t been able to do it. Granted, I lack a consistency that is essential to success. But I think it is more than just that. An obvious answer could be that there are so many blogs out there, already established, doing exactly what I am trying to do. So what’s the point? Why do I keep trying? I’m not sure. That existential question of what’s the point when there are so many other more talented designers/artists/yogis out there has been plaguing me for a while. Put me in all out crisis really. Lacking reason, motivation…the understanding of the why. It sucks walking down a path like that. So I am attempting to put the energy out there that says, I want to figure this out. Or I’ll have to give up and decide I was not meant to be a blogger.

To blog or not to blog

And it’s not just about making money on a blog. I already have a few jobs that pay. That’s not what I am after. I am after the interaction. I want to know if others have the same struggles, same excitement and just similar experiences as I do in this world. I don’t think I am so weird that no one has similar experiences. There has to be millions of people out there that like art and yoga. Hell, I’ll appreciate an either/or at these stage. I just want to share and have others share. I guess I just want to jump on the band wagon and do what everyone else is doing, and connect with people like everyone else is. I just want a piece of the online experience/success. I don’t want to be passed by as some ignorant nobody who couldn’t figure it out. I’m not ignorant, and I am a somebody. At least I think I am. Maybe you will too, eventually. I just need some help figuring it all out.

So, I bought the @RockablePress book. I haven’t had a chance to look at it, but I am hoping it was a good investment and it will help me make my blog, my time, my efforts worthy of a good investment and a good ROI as well.

We shall see, and this blog will be the evidence. Here’s to hope.

Social Media is keeping me up at night

Social media is keeping me up at night. Seems pathetic, but it is. I tossed and turned trying to figure out what I should be doing, what I am doing wrong and how I should be proceeding.

I feel like I am failing. And I am not entirely sure what I am doing wrong.

Social media is interesting. And pretty damn self-reflective. It’s all about trying to find what is most interesting about yourself that you think others would find interesting. Determining a niche has been hard for me. Generating interest even harder. And maintaining the motivation to consistently peruse it challenging.

I just don’t get it. I’m trying. I want to. But I just don’t get it.

How do you do it?

Woa is me. Whoa is me.

Hope and imagination are the only consolations for the disappointments and sorrows of experience.
Italo Calvino

Ah, the sorrows of experience. It invokes the adage of it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. The pain and torment that comes from some experiences that wrenches your soul and forces you to scream out…MERCY! You search for a sanctuary, but you cannot hide from your soul. You can shut it up momentarily, but at some point, dolefulness will seep into your bones and muscles until you can no longer ignore the melancholy that is soon to absorb you. You will be forced to scream out, Woe is me!

But at some point, does not the dismal turn bright. Even if only temporary. Does the pain ever lessen? Does it ever quietly concede control and slink back into the depths until another moment requires its personality?

Am I good enough?

I’ve been pondering this lately. Am I good enough? And though I have applied this question to many aspects of my life, I am currently wondering about my artistic abilities. Am I good enough? I love art, and want to be an artist, whatever that means. I struggle with my worth as an artist though. There are so many talented people out there. And so many people who deserve to be successful and to live a creative life. I’m just not sure I am one of them. I want to be, but want isn’t enough. I have to have talent, motivation and confidence…and I may be lacking in each of those areas. Not to mention how subjective art is that in terms of talent you have to wonder what constitutes talent, good art and worth.

I have recently taken the plunge and have opened a zazzle shop and an etsy shop. And it’s been discouraging. How do you get people to visit your shop let alone leave positive feedback and maybe even a purchase? And does it even matter? Ultimately it doesn’t matter since I will continue making art. I try to tap into my emotions and insanity and express myself via the canvas. But the Western-influenced side of me has trepidation over sharing my art with others. Again, so many people are way more talented than me. And who am I? Who am I to think my art matters to anyone but me? Ultimately it doesn’t matter to anyone else. So then, does it matter if I am good enough? No. And I am trying to let my ego go, and paint from  my heart and not for what may sell. I still am working on finding my own voice I shouldn’t be worried about selling anything. I guess I think some of my stuff is worth buying so I thought I would try (plus it would be nice to have the extra income now that my rent has been raised). I need to stop seeking external approval and be happy being the small, insignificant, artistic me.

Yellow and Purple Rose on Black
Yellow and Purple Rose on Black

A blue artistic attempt

I’m trying to be more free with my personal art. Not so concerned on how it looks as much as trying to find out what my natural voice looks like. I am an artist plagued with the inadequacy disease. I peruse the internet and see all the amazing work everyone else is producing, and I want to produce something similar. However, that is there voice, not mine. I’m not sure what my art looks like yet, so I am trying to just follow my instincts. I imagine that as I feel more comfortable just expressing my self, I can move on to the details (I am not really as detail-oriented as I would like, so this initial finding of my voice seems to be pure expression).I do tend to focus on the details as a designer, at work and in my job, but in my personal art, I seem to let them slide a bit.

 

It’s an interesting thought and process to find my voice. And I should say, my unique voice. The one not trying to mimic all the other great artists out there, but the one that comes from within my heart, soul and thoughts. Maybe through this process I’ll see what chaos is in my  head. Should be interesting. As it stands, here are two of my first attempts to find my voice. The base of the art is an oil pastel piece I did and brought into Photoshop. I would love to  hear feedback.

 

An attempt to find my voice.

 

This attempt is a bit softer.

 

I do get the feeling that they are incomplete. That I am telling a half story with my art as I am prone to do in conversation. Problem is, I can rarely remember the full story…seems to be the case here as well. Not quite sure where to take this and how to finish my thought. Seems to be an adequate reflection of my soul at the moment…I feel like I have just begun a journey and am nowhere near complete to self realization and confidence. So maybe these pieces are complete in their reflection of my personal incompleteness…maybe I am trying to abstractly intellectualize them though…Not sure…would love thoughts though.

Artistic burst of emotion

Emotions. Some people have no problem dealing with them, processing them. Moving on, accepting that they are emotional beings. Me, I admit I struggle a bit. I grew up being called too sensitive and that I needed to stop being so sensitive. I was so young that I didn’t really know what to do with those comments or how to use my sensitivity in a beneficial way.  Or at least to find a cathartic release. That’s what art is turning into, though fear some times inhibits my ability to successfully paint my emotions and ground my emotions into a canvas. But I am working on it. Working on screaming my emotions visually.

20110720-023156.jpg

Syncing with the seasons

I have many times said that I am an inconsistent person. That my habits cycle as the moon does. I was discussing this with my acupuncturist/hypnotherapist last week, hoping that she could somehow help me find balance and consistency. In a nutshell, she said she could help me direct my energy there but that I must do something every day to cultivate the habit I was trying to assimilate into my life.

As I was finishing up my yoga asana this morning and about to proceed to my meditation pillow, it occurred to me how good I felt and that this should be a morning practice, that I can wake up 30 minutes early to help my body feel wonderful. And as I began my meditation outside, and felt the warmth of the sun flow across my body, it occurred to me how great the sun is and how its’ warmth helps me feel good about the day and that I should meditate for at least 10 minutes in the morning sun before going to work to help prepare me for the day. And so I sat in meditation content and placing an intention to make this routine a regular morning routine for me.

And I sat there basking in the sun.

And then it occurred to me. The idea of making this a morning routine is a great one albeit not a possible one. Well, I should say it’s not possible to make this a year round morning routine, that I could make it a summer morning routine, but I couldn’t do it in the summer. I experience four seasons. To wake up at 8:00 in the morning in the summer is to already have the sun risen but it in the winter, this has not yet happened. My routines cannot be the same because the environment I am basing my routines on is not the same. I need to tune into these seasonal changes and sync my energy.

I do not know why it took me so long to realize this. But for whatever reason it is happening now. I have long thought that my inconsistency is a bad thing, a weakness. But in reality it is simply nature, earth nature, animal nature and human nature. And it doesn’t have to control me. I can adjust myself accordingly to find balance in each season. To find consistency in change.

An artistic ramble

The need for art drives some. So much that their social  lives begin to suffer because they are drawn to the canvas. The canvas is perhaps more truthful than society for some and for others it’s silence is welcome. For some the canvas reflects and speaks wonders to what is going on inside, it is a mirror of the soul. For others, it allows them to express themselves without rebuttal. For others it’s a cathartic coping method. It’s a beautiful thing.

I’ve been diving deep into my art lately. Trying to bottle up my emotions in my shell so I am not constantly bleeding with them. And I am trying to let that sadness, that vulnerability, that fear out onto the canvas. What’s been interesting is that I told myself on Friday night that I was done with that particular piece I had started. It’s a piece just for me. I am creating it just for me. probably won’t even show anyone I know the piece. Maybe just post it here and about the process on my blog, since no one I know reads it anyway, if anyone at all. Tangent. Apologies. Point is I keep finding myself coming back to that piece from Friday night. It’s so much a piece of what I have been feeling for years that I want to keep working on it. Keep progressing it to the next and better stage. I have found that driving force of art that keeps you a recluse. That keeps you up until 3:00 working on it. Wanting to call in sick from work so you can sit at your table/easel/art space and work on it. It’s exciting to be here. I feel myself, my mind, leave and my  hand just keep working. I’m barely looking at what I am doing. Though that means there is most likely to be inconsistencies and inaccuracies, but I feel as if it is what the divine wants my hand to be doing. Like I am finally learning how to channel that energy through me and act as a conduit.

I’m scared and nervous and what the outcome will be. I already tried to give up on it on Friday. But that’s my MO…my modus operandi…Quit before something is complete, so if it isn’t any good I can say I didn’t spend a lot of time on it. I’m spending a lot more time than I thought I would on this current piece. And it’s such a sad piece. But I’m trying to make it beautiful. I hope I succeed.

dream

I dreamt last night. I mean, I normally dream. I’ve been one of those people, as of late, who can’t tell the difference between the waking and dreaming world. Where I wake up, get dressed, drive into work, send out some emails and start to work on a project, only to wake up and actually have to do all of it again, or at least for real. But that’s not the point, the point, is that my dream last night involved texting and emailing with a friend. And we figured out a way to measure the success of our goals, both personal and professional.  Some website was either involved or we created one, I’m not really sure, but we had it figured out and were so excited. We were going to achieve all of our goals. We had a list/priority system in place and were ready. Now I realize that these sorts of systems are already in place and that there are such tools out there already to achieve these purposes. But we had developed some catered to our specific needs. It was like after years of trying all of the other tools, we just developed our own. Maybe it’s more that we could list our goals and had self-knowledge that afforded us the ability to recognize our goals and how to achieve them and  even how to measure their success. Hmm…self-knowledge. Meta-cognition.

“To know the whole world is nothing when it is compared to knowing your own inner mystery of life.” ~ Osho

I woke up and did indeed have a text from her, although I had never actually responded. When I told her about the dream, she said, “:) “Dream us” sound pretty sweet”.  I don’t want to live in my dreams. I want my dreams, and my dream self, to become reality. It requires exploration, an evaluation of expectations and transformation. Perhaps to begin, I will chant to Kali and go read Kafka.