Hi, good morning all, hope you are all good and well and enjoying the tremendous variety of weather we have on offer in this country?
Crikey how it can change so quickly and completely is quite astonishing at times, though as it is pouring down outside it does mean I can get on with all the household chores I have kept putting off!
As I now work towards the end date of July 3rd, I have been trying to finalise what social media I want to use as I go on my travels. This is proving to be quite a lot of work to be honest and at times it does seem to take more time out of the day than I thought it would.
Currently I am active on Twitter, Instagram and here on this blog but have now also decided to take the first step into the world of vlogging and have now started a YouTube channel.
YouTube has proved to be somewhat of an experience, a stretch of my technical abilities as well as making me realise that some of the techie stuff that I have bought really wasn’t that well thought out. Still, live and learn I suppose.
The more I get into this social media stuff the more I question why I am doing it and for what purpose.
The intention right back at the start of all of this was to document my travels and my experiences going forward. A journal, I guess, for me to look back on when I am no longer able to hike or climb onto the seat of a motorcycle.
It was also to be a means for my family and friends to follow me and still retain the ability to play an active role in my daily life through comments and the like if they so wished.
There was, and still is, a small part of me that hoped it might prove be some kind of inspiration to others out there, who maybe find themselves in the same position as I did and have thought about doing this but are hesitant to take the first step.
If anything I write, post or vlog helps somebody take the first step on their own journey to finding their happy then I would consider my time well spent. Life, after all, is about helping others find their joy.
The danger with all social media, from my own perspective, is having the ability to hang on to those original values and principles and not let it slide into some kind of degenerate self-esteem endorsement of who I am are by trying to get as many subscribers as possible. I have already caught myself falling into that trap having been amazed at having a tweet re-tweeted or feeling a smug satisfaction when getting my highest likes so far on an Instagram post to date.
I am ashamed to say I even went as far as analysing why those tweets/posts had been so popular and spent precious time working out how to replicate that success. I was caught up in some kind of social media endorphin high and wanted to keep that feeling going. Shame on me.
It is nice, well better than nice if I was being honest, to feel that people like what you write/post and only human to want to feel more of that. But the moment it stops being sincere and from the heart, the moment it becomes about gaining plaudits it is, for me, the moment that your content becomes devoid of soul. This was never supposed to be a popularity contest.
People will come and view my blog/ posts or not. If they like what they see they will maybe return again, but for me I need to remember that the reason they came in the first place is because what was written/posted was real and authentic, something meaningful to both them and me.
And that takes me back to the original question, who am I doing this for?
For the answer I turn to my best friend Gem, who I asked this very question of before any of this began. I loved her reply and her honest and she keeps me in check and grounded in reality. This was her reply to my question of “Do you think anybody will be interested”
Gem “I honestly don’t know the answer. I am, so I can only presume others will be too. Anyone that knows you is certainly going to love it but there must be so many people out there in your position but not feeling able to get out there. They either get to see the freedom through your eyes or better still they get the courage from you!
Hey, anyway, don’t for a minute forget this is all for you so screw anyone else’s opinion.”
Gem is very wise and I had, for a time, forgotten about the fact that this is for me and no one else. If others like what I write, find something that sparks a desire within them, then so be it, I will gladly welcome them to travel along with me. But in the end I am not out to impress anyone, I am out to find me.
Strangely out of all the platforms I currently use, it is this one, my blog, that holds the most value to me and gives me the great pleasure, though ironically it is the least viewed and the hardest to promote.
It is hard when writing a personal blog not to be authentic and from the heart, after all what I write about is personal, something I believe in. There is a pureness that is not replicated on the other social platforms. Writing takes time and effort, searching for the correct words and phrases simply adds to a feeling of self. These are my words, my thoughts, my beliefs.
They will speak to the reader in whatever voice the reader hears them in and I love that thought. Who I am and how I sound will vary from reader to reader. I don’t need to make any excuses for either. In someones minds eye I may well look and sound like Jennifer Aniston! Wow.
And to me, that is the power and the beauty of the written word, it’s ability to conjure up inside peoples minds whole imaginary worlds that will vary in both character and detail from individual to individual.
There have been many times when I have found myself lost in a book, engulfed in a world of my own creation built upon nothing but the words written by someone I will probably never meet. What a skill that is, to be able to transcend reality by merely writing. A gift.
YouTube, on the other hand, is a brutal reality, there are no hiding places, no need for imagination, people see you as you look and sound. (I have purposely not used the phrase “see you as you are” which is something entirely different).
Already I feel obliged on YouTube to put up an introductory video, to explain who I am, to head off the social trolls who get a kick out of trying to bring people down. I am still debating this course of action. Am I not already giving in to them by feeling that I have to somehow justify my existence on camera? Interesting question.
Over time things will sort themselves out and I guess I will just naturally drift to a preferred form of social media. I hope it is this one. I hope that one day I will be able, just by words, to take someone from the reality they read them in to a place of pure creation. That would be something to cherish for the rest of my life.
Whatever you are up to today, take sometime to read a book, let your imagination take you to a place of your own creation and leave behind the stresses and strains of the real world for a while. Reality can wait, its not going anywhere.
Love and hugs