Is it All Worth it?

writeRecently I’ve noticed a frustrating trend. I’ve worked diligently to ensure that I am posting daily blogs, and 3x weekly vlogs as well as bi-weekly podcasts and essays. I’m making it a point to utilize Twitter more and working to use Facebook more, and ultimately continuing work to grow my brand to its greatest potential. But this has come at a cost, in terms of my literary output. I spend so much of my time working on avenues to get my name out there and get my brand out there that I’m not actually doing the one thing that I desperately need to do to make all of this even worth the effort.

Write.

Mostly I am writing every day in the form of blog posts, or essays or ideas for things, but the novel writing, the part that is why I’m doing any of this has slowed considerably, and it makes me wonder, is platform building worth it, if it comes at the cost of me actually writing?

I feel like I’ve had this existential crisis before, but I still haven’t figured out the answer. I want to believe that I can have both in tandem with one another, building a platform while also continuing to write novels, but the evidence thus far is showing that less and less. The more I do one, the less I seem to do the other. Finding that balance has become increasingly tricky and I can’t help but wonder if something will fall by the wayside in the process.

Shameless Self Promotion

I always thought I wasn’t the greatest at using hashtags to get anything accomplished, mostly because in spite of my near constant use of tags in just but everything I could manage, it never quite seemed to work out for me as it did for everyone else I could see using them. Perhaps it was that I was just slightly unnerved by ‘shameless self promotion’ that I viewed it as this thing I really didn’t want to be a part of. Except that I had to, and it works. The first time I learned how well it worked, was when I decided to self publish my first novel and came upon a website that was something like authors helping authors. You like as many as you can, you follow for follow, post a little note that that’s why you’re liking and following and you’d get someone following you back. Only it’s a frustrating way to grow your page to my mind and I ended up following pages that in the long run I didn’t actually want to see their content.

It was unlike Twitter where I felt my feed had grown so naturally (though I’ve been stuck between 199-201 followers for years now). I also learned that power when I first starting blogging daily and grew my blog a few years ago, up to 400+ followers from liking and commenting on other bloggers posts, in addition to creating my own daily.

Now that I’m vlogging, and doing a podcast, I’m starting to learn to use social media and tags to my advantage across platforms. I’ve been using Instagram to share a note about my latest vlogs with #vlog #YouTube #trans. These are all accurate to me one supposes, and it’s a way to spread myself further. One of the biggest things I’ve had to learn is to get off my high horse when it comes to self-promotion. It’s something everyone has to do and honestly it produces results. I’m not spamming people with FOLLOW ME, FOLLOW ME, FOLLOW ME, but it’s my social media which is there to help my brand, so I have to share myself in order to get more people interested in me.

The Podcast Diaries

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In case I never get to use this graphic

I never wanted my podcast to turn into any sort of political ranting soapbox. But over the course of the last twelve episodes, that’s a lot of what it’s become, and on the one hand that’s something of a frustration for me. I love(d) politics once upon a time, but as of late, there’s very little to love, and it’s increasingly a subject I’d just as soon not talk about. There’s little to no discussion where politics is concerned anymore, it’s shouting matches, and hurt feelings, and after the Clapback part 2, I’d like to make season 2 of my podcast less severe. It’s a complicated dichotomy of being a trans person for whom much of my life is political against my will; is where I go to the bathroom really that important of a political issue?

The answer is it’s not. It’s a distraction. And it’s something a lot of people have discussed so much better than I ever could hope to. The truth is, frankly I’m kind of sick of it.

I’d like to say that this will be the last political type post I post, and that my podcast/vlog will not go there going forward, but I don’t know that I necessarily believe that. There are good points to politics I suppose, but they are few and far between. So how do I reconcile the two conflicting sides of myself, the side that loved what politics should be, and the side that is so sick of everything, that it almost isn’t worth discussing anymore? The part of me that wants to resist the ridiculousness we’re facing and the part that wonders is resistance really futile?

I don’t think there are any easy answers, especially not where anything political is concerned, but for me, and for as much as I can, I’m going to try to tone down some of my political discussion; by which I mean how much I speak about it, not my actual tone because respectability politics is nonsense. But that’s a discussion for another day, and another blog.

What I Learned While Vlogging

vlogOver the last few weeks I’ve steadily been trying to get more and more into exploring alternative means to spread my trans goddess agenda across the land. While for years blogging was my main source for spreading this message, increasingly I’ve wanted to explore more vocal and visual avenues, namely podcasting and vlogging. This week while recording a vlog I discovered something interesting I hadn’t considered before. By expressing my thoughts in a vocal manner I had touched upon an answer to a question I was struggling to overcome, how to balance my newfound love of vlogging and podcasting with my general writing schedule and work schedule. I had noticed that with my ever increasing presence in outlets I had not previously explored, my writing was beginning to suffer in the process.

How was I to balance everything and somehow attempt to have any kind of work-life balance?

Record vlogs on Saturday.

As I wrote down the thought after I’d finished filming, more thoughts had come to me. Friday and Saturday are my days off from my day job, meaning that these would be the best days to do the majority of my creative work. Sundays were the easiest days to record podcasts, but they could be edited on Friday to be posted on Saturday. The vlogs would be recorded on Saturdays for the week, edited on Sunday and posted on their respective days. And the same would go for blog posts and essays, leaving me Monday-Thursday at the very least to work on novels, (both reading and writing).

It was such a simple concept I could almost hardly believe it had taken so long to come up with. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t done such things before, but for whatever reason, it was only when I vocalized my thoughts through my vlog that I was able to reach the most obvious conclusion to my problem.

Avoiding the Dark Stuff

days3Self care is a word I’ve used a lot lately, from my Thoughtful Thursday post about what happens when you don’t have the energy to care for yourself, to pretty much everything else. For me self care has been avoiding news that isn’t a comedy slant like Full Frontal with Samantha Bee or the Daily Show. I find it’s a lot less upsetting to listen to the news when there’s jokes attached to it, and right now, we could all use as much laughs as we can manage to get. Self care for me has also included rewatching my favorite tv shows and YouTube shows.

I hoped it would include perhaps more writing, and more serious conversations, and in some ways it has, like in my podcast where Adrianne and I do tend to talk about some serious stuff in between weight loss, dick jokes, and whatever else we get sidetracked with. But sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is take a nap. Watch something you enjoy. Read something you enjoy, put on makeup as a way to face the day. Because the dark bullshit is all around us, whether in our minds, or outside our front door, and trust I don’t need to indulge my demons anymore than I already do. Self care looks different for everyone, and I can’t talk about it enough because it’s that important.

Podcast Ep. 1- The New Adventures of Narcissa Deville

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Welcome to the official Narcissa Deville podcast: Conversations with Myself and the premier episode in which I discuss creating a new site, adventures in writing essays, my relationship, books, my new television obsession, and how hearing stories from older generations has inspired me as a writer.

Follow me at http://www.narcissadeville.com

Twitter @narcissadeville

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Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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