social media channels for clueless… what the hell am I supposed to do?

NIKOXXII.club - Ongoing Projects Diary - Out Of The Woods by © Liudmila Maksimovskaya NIKOXXII
I shall get out of the woods and find my way!

While trying to decide how to give my art blog – nikoxxii.tumblr.com – a “face lift”, I couldn’t help myself and started thinking about all my social media channels. You know how it goes, you do a little bit of spring cleaning and then, next thing you know, you’re planning the whole house renovation. Well, then you realize you have no money and quit.

So I did decide to do some research about social media, my exact search was: what kind of information should you post on different social media channels. These are 3 links that popped out 1st:

How to market your brand on every social media channel written in 2014 by Omar Akhtar, from www.thehubcomms.com/

After long introduction, which I really didn’t need, because the title pretty much spoke for itself, I got to the social media channels.

Facebook 

I have 3 pages on Facebook: one is dedicated to art, 2nd – to Autism and the 3rd to spirituality and paranormal. Because I am so completely clueless, I have missed one of the most important changes Facebook has made: the relatively new algorithm that “prioritizes posts from friends and news media over posts from Pages in users’ News Feeds”. Then, after some complaint examples, there’s an advice.

Track posts’ performance:  The best way to know what kind of Page posts resonate with audiences is to track them using Facebook’s Page Insights feature. The tool now offers even more insights into how audiences are consuming your posts, with stats on engagement, reach, and demographics. By evaluating the performance of each post, an admin can fairly quickly determine what kinds of posts perform well with what type of audience.

I have minimal amount of followers. I tried to get some of my FB friends to like my pages but only a few did… maybe they just wanted to be polite, I don’t know 🙂 So here’s the the truth: art page – 12 followers, Autism – 10, Spirituality and Paranormal (I’m barely doing anything with it) – 6. I have felt that I’m screwed for quite sometime now, and these numbers don’t make me feel any better. But why do I even worry, I’m not even selling anything… yet… I’m not even sure what the hell it is all about…

Well I can forget about the insight for now, because:

Keep in mind that insights are only available after at least 30 people like your Page.

which is not the case.

Spy on the competition…

I can’t do this ether… I can come back to it, when I have 30 followers.

But if I put those 30 followers aside, how do I know what my competitors are if I don’t even know what the hell am I doing?!! Who is my audience?

I feel like deleting everything I’ve got and starting over… but, no, I’m not going to do it. I shall get out of the woods and find my way! 🙂

to be continued…

nikoxxii.com progress notes – almost done 7

NIKOXXII.com - Ongoing Projects Diary - Confusion by © Liudmila Maksimovskaya NIKOXXII.
I don’t exactly see the light in the end of the tunnel. I have, what they… somebody… calls it “the wrong approach”. I walk blindfolded. If you walk blindfolded, eventually you start wondering, “am I going the right way? Am I lost?”. And when you take the blindfold off, it’s only worse: you still can’t see where you’re going but now you’re also overwhelmed by the environment, which feels like sunlit dense fog: double annoying. 🙂

I have spent about 3,5 hours trying to get things done. I should have let it go and rest, but I haven’t. I’m not sure if it is the migraine that’s caused confusion and apathy or I’m just exhausted…

I have made some progress on NIKOXXII.com project. I have described 5 images so far, which doesn’t seem like a lot, considering that I’ve promised to complete 1 image a day. And it’s been almost 2 weeks since my last post, which means that it takes me about 3 days to complete 1 description… It is not bad… but my goal was to finish the website by September 1, 2015. Now I’m looking at being finished sometime new year…

I want to complete 1 description a day, but my head is hurting and I feel drained… I have migraines almost every day, and even if I don’t have a headache, it takes a lot of energy and TIME to get my mind working! And then I start wondering: will it all worth it? I don’t exactly see the light in the end of the tunnel. I have, what they… somebody… calls it “the wrong approach”. I walk blindfolded. If you walk blindfolded, eventually you start wondering, “am I going the right way? Am I lost?”. And when you take the blindfold off, it’s only worse: you still can’t see where you’re going but now you’re also overwhelmed by the environment, which feels like sunlit dense fog: double annoying. 🙂

The good news is: I have reinvented soulbattles.com. I still need soulbattles.com domain name to direct to the soulbattles.tumblr.com, which is, form now on is main Autism website and blog in one.  Other than that it is ready for all the posts that I was so eager to share, but now so clueless about…

It is 10:12. Migraine started last night, I can’t figure out if I still have it or not. I still have a headache but it’s not too bad. It more feels like the 1st or the 3rd phase. I did some yard work today, which is a bit depressing… There’s still a lot of work to do, some of which I won’t be able to complete at all this year…

I’m in the middle of another battle with doubt. I seem to be out of ideas, at the other hand, I have no confidence in the ideas that do pop into my mind. Feeling like quitting, but I can’t…

I do feel like a dandelion that grew out of a crack in the ground, then suddenly ended up in somebody’s backyard and realized that there’re thousands, millions of dandelions out there and they are all… weeds 🙂

 

nikoxxii.com progress notes – almost done 8

home-page-screen-shot1

I feel anxious. Yesterday I discovered  the truth about my progress 🙂 I realized it might take me much longer to complete the website. The 1st urge  was to simplify. It doesn’t sound like a bad idea, does it? But I don’t mean simplify by removing all the useless material, but simplify by coming up with another solution, something that doesn’t take so much time.

I’ll explain. I wanted to give a description to every piece of art, to every project and musical composition.

The problem is, when I counted the amount of pieces that required description I ended up with over a 100 of them. So if I have a chance to finish at least one description a day, it would take me over 3 months to finish the website. If I add possible changes and difficulties, the whole process might take about 4 months.

  • So my new deadline is  September 1. It does seem insane, it would mean I will be working on the nikoxxii.com website for almost a year.

Will it worth it? Or should I find a quicker way. Right now the plan is to use quotes from the Battles of The Soul book series (which aren’t even written yet 🙂 ) as descriptions for most of my works. Of course I could find another way, but it just doesn’t seem right…

If I decide to keep going now, I can’t look back, I have to finish it…

  • Another thing. If it takes me that long to complete nikoxxii.com project, it means I might want to start working on soulbattles.com at the same time. I don’t want to put it off for too long.

I have no confidence in my ability to do it, but I want to try. I wonder if I could do a research for my book and create those lists at the same time. If the list is rejected, as my friend said, I can always publish it on my blog.

So when I look at the path opening in front of me, I can see that it may still take quite sometime before I even get to my 1st destination. My concern is not about whether I can do it or now – I’m sure I can. I worry that my family will not see what I see… But I don’t believe I can quit.

So here my goals:

  • nikoxxii.com finished and published under main domain
  • new soulbattles.com and new blog assosiated with the website created  and published

After that I can start doing research required for the books and soulbattles.com

 

nikoxxii.com progress notes – almost done 9

NIKOXXII.club - Ongoing Projects Diary - Migraine by © Liudmila Maksimovskaya NIKOXXII
4/24/2015 01:12 PM I’m having terrible migraine today. I haven’t been in so much pain since… don’t even remember since when.

4/24/2015 01:12 PM

I’m having terrible migraine today. I haven’t been in so much pain since… don’t even remember since when. Ibuprofen + Tylenol seem to work but only temporary. Coffee seems to have positive effect as well.

I have about 30-40 minutes to work on the website. So here what is done:

How It All Began:

  • Carousel images described
  • Describing bottom of the page images

While I was busy with family related stuff (yes, I got a little stuck on describing those images), a thought crossed my mind: maybe I could use all my works in my book series. Sounds a little out there… maybe… just a little, and also a little lazy… but, at the other hand, it doesn’t seem such a bad idea… My intuition tells me that my true obstacle is doubt, that I can do whatever I think is best with my art. And if I want any of them to be a part of my book series, than why not?

The 1st image that I am addressing is called “Opportunity”. I don’t remember why I called it “Opportunity” but I can play with it…

opportunity-full

I presume, because this is my 1st image with new description (the description that is related to the Book 🙂 I’m just going to call it the Book or… BOTS Book… neh, forget about it 🙂 The Book or Battles of The Soul, that’s it)   I post it here, so I can get myself started…

4/28/2015 10:52 AM

In the morning I felt pretty bad. I can only assume that I’m still going through Postdromal phase of previous migraine and it overlaps with Prodromal phase of the next one 🙂  I forced myself to get a few minutes under tanning lamps, which made me feel a little better 🙂

Yesterday I laid out my Tarot cards – I do this every time my mind feels “overcooked”, which makes it hard to make a decision – and saw that describing my artworks by using quotes from the Battles Of The Soul book series is a good idea. I have no clue why it’s a good idea, but apparently it is…

And so I’m doing it. It my next post I shall present my progress…

 

nikoxxii.com progress notes – almost done 10

I wanted to believe that I would publish the new nikoxxii.com website about now, but I still have lots of work to do. Not that I want to come up with excuses, but I haven’t been feeling very well lately and that’s one of the reasons why I was so hesitant to finish the website.

I need to:

  • write some text here and there,
  • fix any errors that I can notice
  • move the entire new site to the main website folder and move the old one in a sub-folder
  • update links URLs in the Ongoing Projects Diary
  • make sure all the pictures have alternative text (description), including the blog ones.

I can keep going but I think I should stop and accomplish all those 1st.

These pages are checked and done:

  • home page
  • what is NIKOXXII.com?
  • “How it all began” needs better picture descriptions

I have decided to start working on the new soulbattles.com while finishing up nikoxxii.com. I feel I need to learn how to work with 2 websites at the same time, switching from one to another.

 

 

What is wrong with going through change?

I’ve been reviewing my previous post thinking, “the post starts reasonably well, but then I seem to be wandering off”. Ironically the post was about perfectionism, and my perfectionist was trying to make it perfect. 🙂

But I’m not talking about the same subject again.

When I think about high achievers, I see their accomplishments but I have hard time imagining what they were going through while trying to reach their goals. I’m sure there was doubt and lack of motivation. They were facing emotional turmoil as well as professional challenges. They made mistakes, they learned, they grew.

And that’s what I’m afraid: to show the growth process. Somehow, in other people – especially when, in my opinion, a person has got true talent – the growth is beautiful. When it comes to my own development, the growth is… embarrassing. Because of that I frequently alter my work over and over. When I look at some things I created a few years, or even a few months ago I keep seeing flaws that must be fixed. But the truth is, if I keep doing this I will never have a result of any kind, because everything I do will be just a draft.

Talking about fixing flaws: I’ve been listening to my narration of the 1st page of Arieh, thinking, that I can hear the accent, which seems pretty strong,  and I’m not sure if some of the words are clear enough.

I believe if a person truly wants to develop a different accent she can do it. But do I really have to do it?

A few months ago I asked people to participate in a survey about my narration. Only 10 people participated, 8 people said that it was OK for me to narrate by myself and that the accent didn’t bother them. 10 individuals are not enough to understand how others may react when they hear my voice, and whether they would want to continue listening or not. But the result does paint a picture, even if it’s just a very tiny picture.

I also asked myself if the accent bothered me. Some moments do bother me, but not all. I could re-record…

But here comes the question… again. Should I keep changing it, or should I accept it done?

I want to see it as done, I do. But those words… I want so much to hear them as something that makes me unique. But will people buy into this uniqueness?

While struggling to find an answer I browsed through my old songs and found this one. Some people like my music, some find it boring and monotone. I’m not sure what to think of it… but when I listened to the song again I felt it. I felt the energy put into it and it made me cry.

I love my music and I don’t know if it is a narcissistic thing to say, but I do. What an irony! I love it because it reflects the Change 🙂

And… I want to get it all DONE!!!

I don’t want to refer to my work as “sketch” any more.

I’m scared but I have to allow myself to appreciate the change! I have to embrace it! I want to embrace it! I want to embrace every imperfection, every fall, every mistake that I make on my path! I want to cherish it all!

And I want it all Done!

To Be OK with Who You Are

When there is a conflict between what you think you have to be or should have been and what you think you are, a battle erupts: the battle for nonexistent perfection, the battle that cannot be won. The battle that we can become addicted to. It lures us in with a promise of “almost there”, “just one more step”, “great success or the Perfect You is just around the corner”. We push harder and go further only to realize that we are still us, not the other guys we’ve hoped we will become. Some give up eventually and count their losses. Some keep going only to be disappointed over and over again.

I got stuck in a battle for perfection hundreds of times, hoping that the next time was going to be different, that I wouldn’t be dragged into the war with myself.

The solution is quite simple actually, but, unfortunately, not as attractive. The battle promises us a trophy. The real solution does not promise us anything but reality and, maybe, a possibility to be satisfied with the result… eventually. The illusionary perfection, somehow, seems always grander than reality. And, according to science, it’s totally normal. Kelly McGonigal explains it well in her bestseller “The Willpower Instinct”.

Her book presents solutions for problems that many of us face. It seems I should take all those solutions and run with them, but why am I still struggling?

Maybe because deep inside I’m not fine with being imperfect even though I know that perfection is an illusion. Maybe, I’m the kind of person who seem never satisfied, but is it really true?

When I was a kid (about 4 years old) I decided that I want to remember every single sparkling moment of my life, every moment that makes me feel happy. Those moments seemed so rare and short lived, in comparison with moment of struggle or moment of plain nothingness, that’s why I wanted to treasure them, and because those moment were quiet reminders of my connection with Earth, of being alive.

Nowadays, when I complete a task, whether it is something simple: like making beds for my kids, or washing dishes, or something bigger: like finishing a website or an artwork, I do feel happy. But then… the critic wakes up and points out everything what’s wrong with my accomplishment. This self-criticism sometimes forces me to seek outside appreciation more than I probably should, it prevents me from finishing projects and moving forward.

I understand that where you are on a scale depends on who the scale belongs to. But for a perfectionist the existence  of some universal scale appears very real.

A few days ago I finished a short illustrated tale about sad Old Badger and his friend, wise Golden Eagle. I wanted to try a new way of making illustrations, in the end I was quite satisfied until I started looking for imperfections. I shared it, got almost no response, and started beating myself up even more.

I kept thinking how bad I was at writing and how crappy my illustrations were.

It feels as if a giant monster inside of me punishes my inner little kid who has just planted a small sprout hoping it will grow into a big tree one day. The monster is unreasonable and very sad, because for him time does not exist. For him there’s only sheer perfection that never changes. This monster is our human, well, mine in particular, need for control. The less safe I feel, the more control I need. I believe that if my work is perfect there are less chances to be criticized. There’re less chances to be in a position where I would have to decide whether I need to change something or not…

I could walk through these psychological woods endlessly, looking for more symptoms and their causes, it has always been one of my special interests 🙂 …

There’s a simple method anybody can use when they need to resolve a problem. You can ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend in a similar situation, if they really wanted my help?”

Well… I would ask, “What do you worry about?” I would keep asking the question until I get a concrete answer. And the answer I would get in the end, “Nobody would want to pay for what I offer”.

That is it. That is all it’s about. I want my creativity turn into a paid job, and, unfortunately I believe that I am going to fail just like millions of other people.

OK, hokey is about to start. 🙂 Where am I going with all this? This post looks like a therapy session notes of a sort 🙂 But it’s fine. I want this blog to help me succeed, that’s why I’m writing all this.

My final note on the subject: the reason why I feel so insecure is because I lack experience and information in the sphere of creativity/art/writing business. This lack of information makes me feel as if I have no control, lack of control make me want to reestablish feeling of being safe. But the truth is: without experience I will never have this information. I can build as many theories as I want, but each theory, no matter how close to reality it is , is just a theory and may not apply to every single case. So unless I really try hard to sell my work I will never know whether I can do it or not.

And it is absolutely normal for many people (I’m not going to say “all”, because it’s not true) to be afraid of change, of risk, or trying new things, of failure. But if I don’t push through it I will never know what I can achieve, what my true abilities and limitations are. Even though I understand how human this fear is , I’m still trying to deny it, and this denial makes me feel miserable…

I have been through this so many times and now I finally see the answer: my main problem lies in the denial of my humanity. I don’t think that’s what I have meant to learn growing up but that’s what I have taken in: the less human I feel the more comfortable I am.

So, I guess, the title of this post should have been: To Be OK with Being Human.

I need to be OK with being human. I want to be OK with being human…

Working on a Task after a Long Break

starting-over

 

I have always found going back on track to be very challenging.

Every time I take a break from a task for prolonged period of time (for at least a week) my mind refuses to go back to it, instead it wants to start another projects or change the previous one entirely in order to avoid facing the challenge of coming back.

I have had this since childhood, and every time it happens it causes frustration: why is it happening, why can’t I just retrieve all the related information out of the appropriate memory section in my brain and keep going?… But I guess, it’s just like with exercise: if you have not used some muscles as much, after using them again you might start feeling as if you’ve never worked out at all…

As for the memory – maybe some people adjust to breaks in activity or change at different pace, in the end most of us can adapt and remember what we have learned previously.

Sometimes taking long breaks when performing a task that requires skill or intellectual work, could be a good test: you can see how well you have learned something or how good you have become at the performance. Maybe when you worked on the task before you missed something, and now during the recap, you may be looking at everything a little bit differently and may even notice what you missed.

Anyway, back to “I” 🙂

I feel like the memories are still there but I can’t seem to connect to them emotionally, but this comes with doing the work, the task will gradually feel more familiar and… friendlier 🙂

And with this positive thought I shall go back to my tasks with ease, no matter how long it has been since I last worked on them. 🙂