Learning From The Hanged Man

Lao Tzu quote

I know my presence here on my blog has dwindled a bit in the last few months, but I have a good reason. OK. Maybe not a good reason, but a reason.

You see I'm considering a variety of options for the future of my entrepreneurial endeavors, as well as for my career overall. Don't worry. It's nothing drastic.

But when I realized that I need to let go of what I am, so that I may become what I might be, this is where the next step led me. So with that transformation in mind, it seems me trying to deliver substantive written blog posts on a weekly basis may prove difficult.

That's why I am leaning toward an approach similar to the delightful UK copywriter, Emma Cownley. If you don't follow her on Twitter or YouTube, let me fill you in.

What I love about Cownley's approach to her copywriting business -- other than offering free advice to us newbies -- is her authenticity and what seems to be a wu wei manner of vlogging/blogging.

The Hanged Man tarot card by Chris-Anne

Whether she intended to inspire or not, Cownley has made a name for herself by putting her witchy, punk rock, devil-may-care, yes-I-have-tattoos glory on full display and lets the audience, clients and kindred spirits find their way to her.

Although I'm sure she takes marketing her business pretty seriously, I get the impression that being more open about why she may not be the traditional corporate world's favorite darling has left the opportunity for the career and lifestyle she wants to have to come knocking.

I began taking a similar approach back when I first migrated my old website to its new home here on Webflow, but life being what it is, I deviated from the path and now find myself trying my best to re-assess, re-align and re-member what it is I want to achieve in this crazy world of writing for hire.

Cownley seems to blog when she wants (sometimes weekly, sometimes daily, sometimes whenever). She seems to also produce video content on a monthly basis, varying her video content similar to her standard blog content. And while I have no idea if this is affected by actual assignment deadlines or life's constant deluge of to-do's, it's a tack that I'm considering going forward.

No, I'm not turning my back on 12 years of blogging (an achievement I'm quite proud of). But I am considering pulling back a bit and only blogging when the mood strikes, as well as to try my hand at that dreaded technology that others embrace so readily ... video.

But, of course, I have to do it my way, and allow it to develop organically in whatever manner that suits me and my lifestyle -- current and future.

So with that lengthy introduction in mind, here's what I have planned Incandescere in 2023:

  1. Blog once a month (at least) with an accompanying video on the same topic.

    The goal here is to do more with less, and give myself the space to grow, heal and create in a less "rise-and-grind spirit" that is wearing quite thin at my age.
  2. If I blog more than once, it may or may not have an accompanying vlog.

    Again, just giving myself the space. My desire is to step away from the guilt of not following a set schedule, and move more toward a more que sera sera approach.
  3. Speak openly about the things I care about (social causes, spirituality, my "day job" as a gallery director).

    I may not share an appreciation for FiloFax organization or a love for Adam Driver like Cownley, but for years I have tried to keep my career "day job" separate from my professional "I'd-rather-be-doing-this-all-day job." A fairly easy task when I worked in Corporate AmericaTM and had to navigate the soul-crushing of a 9-to-5.

    But now, I work at an art gallery 4 days a week, and use my talents to help uplift underrepresented artists, poets and performers. I'm still overworked and underpaid, but feeling much more fulfilled. As a result, I don't feel compelled to keep these 2 worlds entirely separate anymore or to avoid important details at all costs.

    The same goes for my beliefs around world events, my studies in Taoist philosophy, or my current binge-watching obsessions. (I'm halfway through season 7 of The Blacklist. You'll never root for a bad guy as readily as you root for Raymond Reddington.)
  4. Continue to share my reviews of plays, museum exhibits, and books that delight me.

    This is still primarily an arts & culture blog, and topics related to the arts will remain its primary focus.
  5. Spend less time and effort promoting my work on social media.

    Obviously I like when someone stumbles across my words and likes my rambling, but the amount of effort that I put into promoting my blog posts on social media is probably one of the least satisfying aspects of blogging. So with the spirit of doing more with less, I will be cutting back on how I engage on social media until I can figure out a better strategy that suits my time and energy. I'll still promote what I post, of course, but where, when and for how long is still up in the air.
  6. Spend more time networking with other creatives and content/copywriters.

    What it says on the tin. Although networking isn't my bailiwick, I want to do more of it and not rely so heavily on the kindness of strangers.
  7. Make time to teach myself more about skills that will benefit my work as a freelance content writer and as a gallery director at the same time.

    I can't tell you the number of online classes, webinars, or subscription-teaching platforms that I've wasted money on to try and self-educate and self-cultivate the skillset I feel I should have to succeed ... only to not take the classes or watch the webinars because I was exhausted from carrying too much on my plate. And when my plate was finally empty, I would rarely remember that I still have access to the platform or webinar. (::cough::Skillshare::cough::)

    My attempt to remedy this in 2023 is to try and focus on educational opportunities that benefit me as an entrepreneur *and* a gallery director. That way, I know partaking in the opportunity won't be seen as an additional feather in my cap to impress others, but instead can be actually put to work for me in multiple ways.

I know best laid schemes and all that, but I genuinely feel change is a process and 2020 was just the start of where I could possibly go. I've written before about trying to be more authentic on my blog, and hopefully this is another step in that direction.

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