Last week I had a friend ask me if I was boycotting Instagram.
She’d noticed that I hadn’t posted anything in a while. Two months to be exact. But the truth is, I just haven’t had much to say.
Somewhere within the last year and a half of starting Chasing Whimsy, I had begun to forget why I wanted to blog in the first place. I forgot about my intention to chase after the little moments in our daily lives that serve as the chocolate chips to an otherwise bland oatmeal cookie.
Knowing I’m going to sound like a stereotypical millennial with this confession; I started to define myself on the number of likes a photo got, or the amount of people that visited my blog that day, forgetting that my life and I are more than the calculated snap-shots I share on social media.
And for better or worse, I know I’m not alone in this feeling.
A few weeks ago, over a glass of inky dark Malbec, my friend Emily, a wedding and portrait photographer, confessed having a similar feeling about her value and work.
When we started, our creation process began with passion. Instagram and blogging were only a platform to share what we had created, what inspired us, and what made us want to continue creating; a portfolio of sorts. Within such a short time something shifted. The focus moved from the creation process, and landed on the final product.
We began to believe this lie that we were only as good as what we’ve made, and so we need to follow the formula. Copy and recreate something we had seen, something we thought would get the highest response because it had worked for someone else. We’d put our own passions aside and joined the masses that were marching to the same drum.
So naturally, when you stop challenging yourself to generate your own appetite for creativity and adventure, you stop having any. I fell silent, with nothing new to share or say.
So once again I’m shifting my process.
I’m shifting my focus from constantly producing and end product, to actually creating something. Something I hope resonates with someone somewhere. I want to move away from overly calculated content and carefully crafted Instagram “quilts” and focus on sharing stories. Sharing pictures and thoughts that are inspiring and passionate.
I can’t promise what that will look like, but hopefully it will follow the mentality of “quality over quantity.”
On that note, I thought I’d share a short excerpt from a letter a mentor wrote me and some close friends. My hope is that it disturbs the silence inside you, and challenge you to tell your own story.
“You (all) stand at such an exciting threshold of life and I have complete confidence that each one of you can become whoever and whatever you yearn to be and do. Never again will you have the freedom, and privacy and autonomy to follow your passions and your hearts. You really have no idea how true the words: “The sky is the limit” are, and how they apply to each of you. Use your power and passions wisely to continue to grow fully into the women you were created to be. Always trust your tummy; it’s where the Holy Spirit lives, and all he has to whisper, his hopes and desires for you. And never, ever stop asking yourselves: “what would we do if we weren’t afraid?”’
Thank you Emily for always taking my pictures and being a girl’s best confidant.