I always knew going back to consultancy work wasn’t going to be easy. I thought I’d still find a way to cope, though. And I sort of did. But I find myself no longer willing to contribute to things I believe are doing great harm.
Things like throwing money at Facebook, or Twitter. The irony doesn’t escape me. I used to be all about Facebook, Twitter and other social media. I spent years promoting the platforms and their advertising offerings.
Now, however, I see that these companies are inflicting great harm on people, democratic institutions and our planet. I know, in my heart, that I can no longer encourage other companies to invest money in platforms that are so destructive.
The consequence? Most of my past experience as a marketing consultant is pretty useless. I can’t go back to what I am good at. I need to reinvent myself. I need to do something new. And every time I ponder over all of this, I think: “I need to find *my* story.”
Brené Brown has a story about vulnerability and shame. Angela Duckworth has a story about grit and purpose. There are many others out there who have a story about improving your health, being more productive, investing money,… But what is my story, I wonder?
I don’t have an answer yet. Or I should say: I don’t have a detailed one. I think I want to talk about the hard moments in any creative process. It’s something I feel comfortable talking about and something I think more people should talk about.
The truth is that I’m a bit paralyzed, though. I don’t know where to start. And so I thought I’d start here: on a new blog. I’ll try to write about my journey here. I’ll try to figure out what my story is. I’ll probably ramble a lot.
For now, the blog is only visible in the navigation for the people who support me every month. Why? Because we’re already in this together. Your recurring support enables my work. You give me a sense of financial stability. You’ve got my back and I feel safe sharing this with you.
Some things you should know
I feel like I should tell you something straight away. I’m no longer sure if I will ever be able to go back to weekly episodes. Even if support were to explode exponentially, I have come to understand that releasing an episode every week wears me out.
There are several reasons why a weekly release is so exhausting. The first is the amount of work every episode requires. It’s just too much to do it alone. I had no room for error, no room for a sick day and no room to reconsider something creatively.
The second reason is that I think I had become too dependent (financially). Being so extremely invested in one thing made it hard for me to separate what I wanted to do from what I thought my audience wanted me to do.
I’m not as frustrated about going back to ‘consultancy’ as I used to be because I can now see that it might be a good thing for me. If I can find my own story, and find something to share with people that I believe will help them, I will also empower myself.
I will feel freer to create the stories I want to create because I’m no longer entirely dependent on listener-support. That, in turn, will make me more creative and improve the quality of the podcast, I believe.
It’s important that this new line of work is as fulfilling to me, though. If it isn’t, it’ll just drain me and drag me down. And so I have to feel like I’m improving people’s lives in a way. Not just a company’s profit margin.
A journey with a deadline
And so, here I stand in front of you today. Or sit, but that doesn’t sound as impressive;) . I gave myself until the early summer to find my story and start doing something with it. Talking to you about it is my first step.
I named the blog ‘Shitty Stuff’ after the term ‘Shitty first draft.’ A lot of people wince when I call my first draft shitty. For me, it’s liberating, though. It gives me some room to mess up while writing.
I don’t want to overthink this blog either. I want to be real and honest and open in my writing. Shitty is always a part of that. Thank you for your trust. Thank you for your support. Thank you for listening.
PS: I guess I already tried doing this with the vlog. I am not a camera person, though. I already knew that and I have tried changing that several times before. Doesn’t work. I’m a writer. About time I just accept it.