photo by Nicole Lewis Photography
Grab a cup of tea, I did and you might need it because this is long. On second thought, scrap the tea…grab some coffee, if it wasn’t so late in the evening I would be chugging that too.
I guess I’ll start at the beginning. I’ve been in a creative rut, my mind hasn’t been into my work, this blog, my Instagram or anything other than my family, my workouts, my friends..that’s about it. I doubt you noticed because I kept posting and I kept sharing, but something didn’t feel quite right and I couldn’t figure out what it was.
Then yesterday happened here in Toronto. A really awful, horrible thing happened. And while I missed the initial reports because we don’t have a tv, I didn’t miss my lack of surprise or shock that something like this happened here when my brother in law texted me from overseas checking in. It felt like it was something I’d expected to happen for quite a while and now it had. The news and media outlets quickly jumped at the chance to televise every gruesome description, to interview every witness, to deep dive into what happened using words like “plow” “carnage” and “deadly” to describe the events. And while I think reporting facts is necessary, I think the media needs to be somewhat accountable for what they’re putting out there. Its no secret that fear sells. Its widely studied in university sociology classes around the world. I studied it too, and while I once found it interesting from a “social studies” perspective, I now find myself angry. I am angry that the event happened, but I am more angry at the journalists, news stations, and everyone who feeds this beast by watching, reading and seeking out more and more and more of it. Its no longer information, now its entertainment and its entertainment at the expense of victims. Its entertainment at the expense of giving other people with similar ill intent a voice and a platform to create more hurt and more violence. Because there will be a next time.
Today while I was sitting with Henrik at a coffee shop watching him eat his cheerios I started thinking a little bit more about responsibility and media. This time I though about it in the context of this space and this blog, my small piece of the internet and the people who follow me on there. It got me thinking about why I’ve felt creatively in a rut and what I want to do from here on out. How I want to work with brands to help them get their message out, while working for myself and providing for my family without compromising me. I made some changes to my health this spring and it seems to have changed me in other ways as well, because I don’t feel satisfied and I think now I know why.
I looked through my Instagram analytics and I realized that my most viewed, commented on and sought out posts are my raw posts. The ones that tell a story about my life. I think above all I am a storyteller and that’s a role I like to take on. I love telling stories, real ones, hopefully inspiring ones, and that makes me happy. I love photography and the creative aspect of editing, and while you might find this blog or my Instagram feed and think it looks just like everyone else’s (because it does…so many people take pretty photos now, and curate their feeds, its no longer special) I think maybe my value is in the story. I want to do more of that, more me and less worrying about what you will like or what you won’t. More real talk, more life and I think you want that too.
The ads will come, because that part is important too. What I put out in my space is entertainment for you. Whether you want to admit it or not. Whether its inspiration, or ideas, or a recipe. It takes time for me to create it, sometimes days at a time depending how involved it is. And I can’t do that while being in an office, because … well… time, so ads help facilitate the non ads. BUT, I decide what I want to work on, what I want to promote, which brands I love enough in real life to work with and show you in this space. My voice is mine, it always was and that won’t change moving forward either. What will change is the in-between. I’m sick of seeing pretty pictures with no message or substance. I’m sick of looking at beautiful photos in a blog and reading nothing. I’m not just a creator, I’m also a mom who also consumes this media too, and if I’m sick of all that well I’m assuming so are some of you. I’m sick of people complaining about social media while being part of the problem! Or worse cheating to appear relevant, while talking about “authenticity”. I’m sick of all that nonsense just as I’m sick of the unnecessary gore on news stations and the negativity that comes with it. I’m sick of the fakeness that’s so obvious you can smell it a mile away. I want to look at pretty pictures, but I want more… so I want to do more and that’s what’s next for me. I won’t apologize for making it pretty or creating ads, I’m proud of those too. But I want to do more to add to the pretty pictures and curated feed. Not sure that any of this makes sense to anyone but me, but there it is.
I want to continue to keep this place mine and I hope that at the end of the day, in some small way, for what its worth, something of what I’ve posted ever can help someone, anyone, somewhere.