Is there anything more daunting than a blank page? (Except maybe a giant spider or something…) I mean a blank page both literally and metaphorically, because I’m pretentious and artsy like that. In true artist fashion, in fact, I’m currently drowning in a sea of self-doubt and brooding angst, on a ship of creative unfulfillment, weighed down with the anchor of pressure…! Although that was supposed to sound poetic and deep, what it really entails is me swearing at my computer, deleting everything I write after one paragraph (the words on this page are already dreading their likely doom at the hand of the backspace button!) and staring into my video camera lens asking it what it wants from me.
These blips happen periodically, and seem to spring up out of nowhere, dragging me down. The longer I put off creating content, the harder it gets and the closer I become to giving up everything, selling out and giving myself up to a life of creative unfulfillment. Sometimes they come from bad stats, or reading something someone else has written and feeling like my “style” is horrific (regular contributor Bethan has that effect on me!), but other times they just happen. In fact, the worst is when it sucks you in after a relative success. You create something that people like, and they give you positive feedback - yay! But then comes the difficult second album. What if you never create anything that good again?! What if that was your “Spice” album, and the subsequent “Spice World” and “Forever” albums just don’t quite match up? Should you quit whilst you’re ahead?
At the peak of this recently, I decided I needed to do something. After tearfully watching a motivational video, snuggling the cat and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to do something that had the potential to go really well, or really awful.
I created a questionnaire. About my work.
My biggest fear, far beyond people not replying, was that it would come across super egotistical, and as if I was fishing compliments. Really, I just wanted to know, what people liked to read, what they wish I did more videos about, etc. Without an audience, no matter how small, I’m just an awkward girl talking to a camera.
I used Typeform to create the questionnaire because it’s much prettier than SurveyMonkey, and asked questions I was curious about. Such as ‘What types of content do you usually enjoy?” “Do you read my blog? Why? Why not?” etc. I shared it on my Facebook page, and Twitter and was expecting one or two replies from those amazing babes that help you out whenever they can.
I actually got nearly 30 and none of them were mean! I know, I had asked people who already interact with me online, but I’ve been the victim of anonymous hate via a questionnaire before so I am always wary.
Don’t get me wrong, not everyone was saying I could be the new Zoella/Jenna Marbles/PewDiePie, in fact some people said they don’t read my blog because they didn’t know I had one (good job promoting there, Codes!) or that my videos just aren’t their thing. All of which was really useful.
I also got a lot of comments giving me suggestions for ideas. A few people mentioned talking about the wedding planning, which is an idea that I had considered but thought no one would want to watch so didn’t bother - so that’s something that I am going to start doing. Really, I just needed a push for people to say ‘if you make this, we will watch’.
There’s something very vulnerable about putting yourself out there creatively (that sounded so douchey, please forgive me!) because you’re literally saying, ‘I made a thing, and I think it is worth your eyes taking time to look at it’. Someone’s time is a valuable thing, so for them to spend some of it looking at something you’ve made, it has to be good.
No pressure then.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say, is thanks for pointing your eyes at the weird things I make. I hope they interest you in some way and that you’ll continue to enjoy them.
Normal, less emosh service shall resume soon!