Thoughts on sharing the less positive aspects of writing
I’m conflicted. I’m currently filming the end of my weekly writing vlog (number 5) and I’m not sure what to do in terms of how to end it. Because the thing is, this week with my writing, the very first week of October, has not gone to plan. I was ill at the end of last weekend so the vlog starts with me explaining that. Then I get to Friday and I’m down in the dumps because I feel like I haven’t got anywhere in the five days because of the illness. And it all feels so gloomy.
Or, to put it another way, it feels like there’s too much negative.
I often post captions on Instagram that try to capture the sadder parts of my country life. I hit a deer in my car at the beginning of this year. It was traumatic. And fatal for the deer. And I was in two minds whether to post that on Instagram. Eventually I went with my gut and wrote about it on there. Then I wrote a blog post called why it’s important you share the light and the dark within your online storytelling.
The picture, however, that I chose to share to convey this story wasn’t a negative one. It was actually this one:
Unless you read the words you wouldn’t know that behind that photograph is a sad story.
My pictures on Instagram try to capture the positive: bouncing puppies, beautiful flowers or the vivid heartwarming colours of autumn.
The vlog, however, is different. The vlog has the story and the image conveying the same thing. So if I’m down in the dumps I’ll look down in the dumps. If I’m happy or excited I’ll look like I’ve drunk five coffees. There’s no hiding my emotions. I am not any sort of an actor.
So when the week starts with me being ill, when I struggle to make up the work after falling asleep on the sofa and I’m just feeling like walking through treacle, and it gets to the end of the week and my mood reflects this - is it too much negative?
See - I think it might be. I feel it’s my job to inspire and to be honest I feel awkward when receiving sympathy.
Yet we are told that people, followers, viewers all want to see the real, the raw, the warts and all. You already get that with me as I don’t wear make-up for writing sessions or being outside with the chickens and I’m certainly not going to wear it just because of filming my vlogs (and my hair often looks like I’ve been pulling it out in frustration!) but surely you want to see me smiling more often than not? Or hearing about the progress I’m making with my novel?
There’s been a couple of times now in the five weeks I’ve been creating these vlogs where I feel I’d really like to re-film a piece. I’ve kept it in because I want this project to be an accurate representation of my writing weeks…yet sharing the downs make me far more uncomfortable than the ups.
And I guess this is because I want you to think I’m giving this my all. That I’m not a shirker but a hard worker. I want to present the best side of me. And that’s not always possible.