Forgive me. I am still a bit rusty on writing compelling literature. It’s been a while and I’ve been much more focused on other realities… I’ll do my best to stay on target.
Having quit social media for an extended period of time, I noticed a drastic improvement in my ability to focus. I’m certain we’ve all read a variety of articles illustrating just how negative social media can impact our mental acuity. I cannot rehash all the facts, figures, or statistics on this topic because I haven’t done my proper homework. I cannot tell you how algorithms or social media influencers affect certain age groups or demographics. I simply don’t have that information. However, I will say that – since joining Medium and shamelessly returning to LinkedIn after swearing it off – my anxieties and stress levels have skyrocketed tenfold. I’m right back to where I was two years ago.
The problem is that I have a great love for so many talented artists and writers – many of whom are right here on BizCatalyst 360°. I simply couldn’t stay away.
I’m a supporter of all creative beings, for better or worse. I can’t help it. I do my best to encourage and share, to enlighten, and have intellectual discussions.
I do this for several reasons – because I love art and I love writing to the very core of my essence. The other reason is that my personal career has become increasingly more complex and difficult with each passing year. As much as I love my work, it demands more and more of my attention and soul, to the point where I’m terrified of never fulfilling my creative potential as an artist or writer.
In many ways, you could say that I have a marginal case of Impostor Syndrome. While I do enjoy the challenges associated with Technical Writing and government contracting, I lack the killer instinct for business development and corporate theology. I am an artist and a free spirit, a creative journalist moonlighting in the salt mines of reality. While I do quite well in my career, I feel there is something slowly dying inside as I lose more and more ground on my passion. Worse, social media exacerbates the tension in strange ways that I can’t always express. It’s akin to being haunted by the ghost of an alternate reality. That probably makes zero sense and it’s an incredibly unfair and negative mindset, but it washes over me from time to time.
After disconnecting the first time, I began to value and appreciate things on a much higher level. I took a long time away to examine my feelings and objectives, but I eventually realized that I missed the voices calling out from the creative void. I needed to be a part of the tribe, despite the noise and aggravation that comes with social media. To this day I cannot make heads or tails of my emotions. I don’t wish to be analyzed. I know myself quite well. I know what I’m capable of and bright enough to work through the voodoo psychology. It’s just a suffocating feeling that goes hand-in-hand with being a misfit.
For the record – I don’t reject that label. It is a unique identifier. I truly am a misfit. I don’t say that to be faux eccentric, but I have never fit in. The real struggle is being pulled by the gravity of two radically different worlds – corporate vs. creative. I am literally torn in two. I serve two masters, one of them secretly. It is a badge of insecurity that hangs like an anchor around my neck. The only saving grace is that it brings me right back here to the canvas. It brings me back to the keyboard with these itchy bleeding fingers. It is the terror of not creating… of losing touch with the inspiration and fire that catapults the imagination. It is the brimming star of destiny which dims to a little white blip in the center of a dark television screen. What follows is silence.
Indeed. I have to shake it off. I am not suicidal or depressed, but I do have to force myself to work harder and not surrender to the machine. Perhaps I am being overly self-critical, but this is my personal mind splatter. I have never shared this before. We are all human and sometimes it is necessary to let the shadows breathe. I’ll go back to my turmoil now, and focus on more positive endeavors. I just want to wish you all the very best – to never doubt your gifts or abilities. I want you to reach for the brightest flame possible, to burn your fingers in the process of trying. You must stop at nothing to achieve your dreams, or at least go down with the ship while giving it your all. That is where you will find me. Most important, you must keep a very close pulse on your spirit ladies and gents.
It is speaking to you… constantly… but are you willing to listen?
sounds like you are torn between two worlds that coexist at the same time. Never knowing which zone you will find yourself in. One is by far more enjoyable than the other. Our minds create and document past events explaining not only facts but feelings. Entering data in our sleep and at the job. I would like to welcome you back. Enjoying reading you already
Thank you Eva, that pretty much summarizes it. This isn’t to suggest that I hate my job… I am grateful to pay my bills and have stability… but it gets overwhelming and seems to demand more and more with each passing year. I’ve changed jobs several times and run into similar brick walls of futility. I would rather create art and write all day, but it is a very competitive market and doesn’t replace that steady income… I have mouths to feed and in no position to earn breadcrumbs writing on Medium. It is what it is. I’m certainly not the first, nor the last to feel this way. We move forward regardless… Until next time my friend. 🙏
You had a sister from another mister participating at the Byline 360 gathering, Aaron, who wanted to feel the love of writing again after having written marketing material for too long.
If it is any help, you don’t need to be on LinkedIn to write here any more than you need to show support there. This conversation part of the screen is open for both you and others.
I wish more would use it – comments on LI easily disappear in the crushing currents of content.
You are right Charlotte. I have been thinking about that quite a bit actually. For 360 content – I would much rather engage over here directly. I feel like it is much more quiet and peaceful here, like an intellectual library where people can focus, and nobody is verbally defensive or rude about certain perspectives. In fact, I think it’s only fair to Dennis since he is the host of this platform. He is trying to build something unique for his community… For quite some time, I didn’t have a LinkedIn account and I was happy to engage on this side of the net. It is possible. It can be done… We just need to divert the traffic away from the shopping mall. That’s easier said than done!
I think we can ask for it in our posts: Please leave your comments here on 360.
This becomes even more important if posts are shared in several groups and by Dennis and by the author because half of the fun is also engaging with other’s comments and if they are in 5 different threads, it becomes a tad confusing. Then the comment on LI could be short and “I left more on 360”.