NO QUICK FIX

Social media sold us on the idea that we can just post and lots of people would see it. 

This was true for a moment, but it was a house of cards. As more and more people post more often 24/7, there are only so many people who can see everything that is posted.

The “reach” was a lie. It helped lots of people, yes, until it didn’t. So now, as we enter a post-social media world, we’re left searching for NEW apps and algorithms, but it’s just more of the same, and it will likely end the same way.

Resist the quick fix, the shortcut. One subscriber to your email list is worth the work, the struggle, the grind.

SEARCHING

Love this from Mehret Biruk:

“I’m not searching for gmail.com, I’m searching for something, something of the past. That feeling. When I first learned to want and be wanted in a specific way; differently. All of it happened over the internet, the devices, the notifications. And what can I do about it now? Except hope that with enough time, enough effort, I will learn to forget the notifications. I will learn to want and be wanted in other ways; differently. Offline.”

From ‘Angry and curious

I do the same with email. Let me check one more time. Before a run. After a run. When I get home. As dinner is heating up. During dinner.

I’m searching for something. That email from someone that will sweep me off my feet. The job offer. The opportunity that gift wrapped from the universe just for me.

As Mehret says, time to deflect this feeling into something in the offline world, without a screen. I feel I get this more and more just by being outside. Finding myself stepping away from the computer more often. Going for walks. Long runs. Using my camera more often.

The search online never ends, but time on earth sure does.

HARD ART

Lots of people are making great art. And now AI is coming in to make things more tricky. Sure, Fiverr. All that.

The “great art” part is easy for consumers – they know it when they see it. They might not even care if you made it or a computer made it. They know what they like, and they buy it (or just save it to their desktop).

What I’m saying then is your art isn’t for those people. Your work isn’t for “I’ll take whatever is cheapest / easiest.”

Your work is for people who want to go deeper, who care, who think the person behind the art matters just as much as the art.

Those are your people, and if you’re lucky, they may someday become customers.

The text above was part of my reply to someone talking about the never-ending conundrum of “getting the word out” about what someone makes as an artist, or a painter, or a photographer. How we need social media, how everything is stacked against the independent creative person.

They had two posts on their Substack, so I mentioned this, too:

I read two of your posts – one about ADHD, and one about the atrocities of the war-ravaged world we live in. I already know you care, that you think about others, that you live with ADHD (something I know very little about)… but now I know a bit about you. You’ve already made it clear “this isn’t just about making pretty pictures.” You’ve put on full display, “This is me, this is what you get.” For what it’s worth, I’m going to subscribe – not (just) because of your art, but because of who you’ve shown yourself to be, which is how all this works.

I’ve channeled a lot of Seth Godin energy in this reply, but seriously… there’s a lot of great artwork out there. There’s no shortage of that. But there’s a shortage of people who care, who show up like you do. Keep doing that.

ONLY SO MUCH TO GIVE

Maybe it’s because I just turned 48. Or I ran nearly four hours in the last two days. Or maybe I’m just fed up with everything. But man, I’m wiped out.

It’s never good to write when tired, like you should never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. But eh, go buy the cookies and chips and ice cream. Life is short, have a snack.

I’m going to hit 80 miles running this month, which I haven’t done in a LONG TIME. I have a half-marathon coming up in two weeks. That’ll be fun.

Evenings not spent running are spent walking around town with my camera. I am so stoked to put together two of my favorite things – walking and taking pictures. It’s made even better with this new camera (a Nikon ZFC). It’s digital, but has full manual control dials, which means taking a photo means stopping, making adjustments, and being mindful of light, and movement, and angles. I love it so much.

Taking photos is like running for me – I might be slow, but that just means more time outside.

TREE

Rainy, quiet morning here in town. The school year is done, so all the college kids have left. Now my morning walks are peaceful and still, like this tree.

TAKE OUR PICTURE!

On a recent morning walk about town I took a photo outside of this barbershop, and Keith (on the right) shouted “hey, come take our picture!”

Mind you, I’ve been walking around town the last few months still trying to figure out this camera. It’s a Nikon ZFC with full manual controls, so I’m always dialing in the shutter speed, aperture, and all that fun stuff.

All that noodling around paid off I guess, as I was able to get this photo in two takes, with some minor editing in Adobe Lightroom.

Here’s some more recent shots:

STORMY NIGHT

We had a glimpse of spring a few weeks back, but then it dove right back into winter. Three days of rain, then today was just cold and drizzly. Got in a walk tonight and managed to avoid getting too wet.

IMPACT

Had a wonderful conversation with a dear friend today, about life and work. And the big thing that came up was about impact.

That while money and the bank account are usually the biggest factors in our work, sometimes it’s impact that counts for most. And to somehow be in a position to seek opportunities for impact, that’s the dream. The bills are paid, there’s food in the fridge, and that opens up space for impact, and I gotta say, it sure feels nice.