I’ve been writing online for almost three years now, and for pretty much the whole time, I’ve struggled with finding my sense of identity and my place here on the web. It’s like I just don’t know who I am or something like that. Or perhaps, I know who I am but I’m not too happy about it.
A huge part of the problem is, of course…money.
I need it.
That’s why I came to the Internet in the first place.
Back in early 2012, I had lost ANOTHER job due to anxiety attacks, and I was sitting in my car feeling like shit, and I ended up going to Google and searching something about being a loser. And that’s when I came across a guy who also apparently felt like a loser sometimes, and who also struggled with depression and self-esteem. Well, he also was making a living as a full-time Internet writer, working from home, according to his own schedule (i.e. no real schedule). This intrigued me and seemed perfect for my situation, and so I set off on a quest to figure out how to make it work for me too.
Nearly three years later…still not working for me.
And as always, I’m still always feeling like something just isn’t quite right about it. I just don’t feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I’ve had several websites on various topics, and I had some interest and experience with these topics (well…almost all of them). So I wrote posts for those sites. But every now and then my motivation would crash again and I’d feel like, “What the hell am I doing writing about this stuff? Who am I to tell anybody anything about any of this?”
I sometimes felt like a failure and even like a fake. Now I never claimed to be anything I’m not, and all I ever tried to do with my websites was to help people and to provide useful info. But I still was never really satisfied. I always felt like…this isn’t really me. I’m not the right person to be writing about this.
So now here I am, starting to feel that way again. And I’m trying to find myself, trying to find who I really am and where I really fit on this world wide web.
I just read a recent HubPages article by Bill Holland (he guest-posted here on iWOC a year or two ago). The hub was titled, “Writing Out Of The Box: Find Your Uniqueness,” and in it Bill talks about how so many of us online writers crank out material that we think the world wants, content that will make us some money, even though there may already be tons of articles just like ours already out there. Yet we crank and we crank, and we earn our pennies and nickels and dimes. But we are afraid to be unique, afraid to do something different, afraid to risk losing our trickle of earnings to strike out into uncharted territory in search of real gold.
And that’s exactly the kind of thing I’ve been rolling around in my mind for the past several weeks. Who am I? Who am I REALLY? Am I really being ME? Or am I really just trying to be like everybody else?
I don’t know what the answer is. Not really.
All my life it seems like the only thing I’ve ever really been good at is art. Drawing and cartooning. I’m not amazing or anything (five minutes exploring on Instagram and I feel like I am the most untalented artist ever). But if there is anything I am decent at, it’s drawing. Yet I am so hesitant, so resistant to putting myself out there as an artist and trying to make a living at it.
And again…there’s that damn money thing. I love what money can do, but at the same time, I hate it too. Money has a way of taking something pure and beautiful and spoiling it, you know? Especially when it comes to anything creative or artistic or social or I dunno…all kinds of stuff.
Like, it’s hard to be legit as an artist when you are dying for money and you can’t work regular jobs, so you need to sell your art. That sucks, and it taints the whole process of creating.
The same thing goes for writing.
And even social media. I mean, look at Bubblews. It’s a social network, but money has spoiled it from the start. 99% of the people who interact with you are only doing so because they want you to return the favor and bring some pennies their way, and they’ll disappear if you aren’t visiting them back. And when the earnings took a big hit this past month, tons of people left to look for other places to earn more money.
So even on social media, it’s hard to be legit when money comes into the equation. Mark Ewbie wrote an excellent post on his blog about this very problem, and he said it way better than I just did, so just go read his post already.
Even with blogging. I’ve tried to just make friends with bloggers and read their stuff and visit them from time to time, but then that money thing comes up and I either STOP the social interaction (because it doesn’t seem to be making me money), or I INCREASE the social interaction (because I’m not making much money and so maybe I need to connect more). And on and on it goes.
So now what?
What’s my point?
I don’t know, and I’m almost ready to quit working on this blog post right here and go to bed.
But that would suck, so I won’t. And, hey guys, I’m sorry to be such a downer right now, but I’m just frustrated and feeling pretty crappy.
Yeah, maybe I will just go to bed right now…
Sorry for the big, pointless wall of text with no headings and no real point and nothing good to say.
I hope you guys are having a better weekend than I am.