My Shameless Journey reaches its half-year mark today! So much has changed since the first day when I started doing this #BeShameless challenge, but I know I have a long way to go and I am far from being a “famous YouTuber / Instagramer / Tumblrer / Facebooker.” Becoming a famous anything is not the goal here, the goal is to overcome my fear of self-promotion and share what I learn, see, experience, and create with you all in hopes of bringing even a little more light into the world. This whole challenge is about doing what I love and spreading positivity in every way possible (and in this case, through social media). So, in celebration of reaching my six month mark, I want to reflect and tell you stories about how difficult the challenge really is. This blog is about obstacles, successes, goals, and plans for My Shameless Journey from this point forward.
I’m not for excuses, but this is my list of legitimate obstacles I faced while doing this challenge.
- College: I started this challenge the summer before my senior year of undergraduate studies. Because it is my senior year and graduation is right around the corner, a lot of my time has gone into and continues to go into into setting up my portfolios, looking for prospective companies to work for, internships, resumes, midterms, finals, that 4.0 GPA… You catch my drift.
- Lack of Content: This was an obstacle because some days my creative mind goes on vacation and leaves me hanging. I felt like I had the most problems with lack of content when it came to posting photos on Instagram. I would go through the dilemma of should I post something repetitive or not post anything at all.
- Process of Editing Videos: Maya from ShamelessMaya mentioned this in her DAY 1 video about how difficult this would be because of how long the process is to edit videos and make sure timing is right, music does not have copyright issues, and captions are on point. Which leads me to my next obstacle…
- Perfection: Whether it is with videos, blog posts, photography, or just in anything I do, I have the tendency to be a perfectionist. I don’t mean perfection correlated with “fake,” I mean perfection in the sense that I care about my quality of writing when I write blog posts. I care about videos actually helping people. I care about clarity, coherence, and authenticity. This is an obstacle in itself because I would have conversations with myself about whether or not I should post a blog or if a video is ready to be published. Unfortunately, most of the time my latter self wins and I leave things in draft-mode.
- Sick Days/Vacations: I know my social media activity is unpaid, but I still consider it work that I love. I treat all my social media platforms as something I have to put hours into and create content for. Because it takes time and patience to maintain all of it, I have my typical human sick days and family vacations. I rarely ever take sick days, but the past half year has been a ridiculous series of events with allergy season, the Santa Ana winds making it worse, and the drastic weather changes in Southern California. I have more comments on family vacations in the next obstacle.
- Balance: When I’m on family vacations, I would have to find a good balance between staying active on social media and putting down my electronics to spend quality time with my family and friends. I don’t struggle with finding this balance as much now because the people in my life understand that taking selfies, stopping for photos, and writing notes down in my idea journal is normal. It is easier for me to balance out my non-technological life and technology-absorbed life and I hope to overcome the rest of my obstacles with time.
Success & Accomplishments
While I did face obstacles, I cannot overlook how much successes has come out of doing this challenge. I feel very accomplished for creating my own logo and finishing my layouts for all my social media platforms. I tailored my blog based off of your suggestions and now it is easier to navigate. I also carried out the same white-background, cloud logo, teal/salmon pink, minimalist theme throughout my tumblr, twitter, facebook, and youtube. I don’t plan on being wishy-washy with my layouts anymore. It’s there to stay. Other accomplishments include the drastic increase of followers on RaleighWrites – my current personal blog (thank you for supporting me!), the overall increase in my followings (as shown in the table below), and job offers from non-profits and for-profits as a social media ambassador/consultant. I am so grateful for the offers, but I had to decline most of the offers because of my commitment to school and because they want me to work full-time. I’m no longer worried about my future and post-graduation because of the opportunities and open doors I’ve come across while doing the #BeShameless challenge.
# OF FOLLOWERS
Quick comments about the table above: I wrote down the “My Goals” numbers in my journal on August 11, 2014. All I can say is, I had high ambitions for Instagram and Youtube. Time to do work and bring those number up. I understand why YouTube subscriber numbers have not gone up. It is because I haven’t post vlogs or videos up in a while. Although, I am proud of my Instagram increase considering the fact that I refuse to do the #followforfollow nonsense. I can see why my Facebook page only increase a bit, I am guilty of not paying attention to it. As for other highlights, (wowzerz!) the overwhelming increase for my blog still leaves me speechless.
Aside from the nitty grittiness of stats, my biggest success from doing this challenge is gaining the understanding of what I want to do with my life. I love sharing information with other people and interacting with them whether it is through snail mail letters, emails, or twitter. Because of this challenge, I know I want to reach people across the world virtually and meet as many genuine people face-to-face in whatever I do. Another mini-fangirl accomplishment of mine is getting retweets and replies from people who inspire me. Chriselle Lim, a major fashion influencer, replied to me after I congratulated her on her pregnancy. (Her baby is now born and she is an angel!) Fitness gurus like Ravan Richards and Savannah Rose Neveux also connected with me and I was super happy about that. I also made a connection was with Coca Cola during their Supper Bowl #MakeItHappy campaign. Last but not least, Maya Washington herself has noticed my tweets!!!!!
My goal is to do better and be better. Time is obviously my biggest obstacle, but I will make time to do this challenge because it matters to me. Videos are THE hardest to do, but another goal I have is to be more confident with publishing what I already have waiting on my desktop. My goal is also to accept that this is a challenge and I cannot get worked up if I fail to post three photos a day on Instagram or four blog posts a week on RaleighWrites.
I will be shameless. When I feel like I’m bombarding people’s feeds, or something is “not good enough” to air, publish, or post… I will channel my inner ShamelessMaya and say, do you boo.
If you haven’t done so already… Watch this video/playlist to understand what #BESHAMELESS is all about: (video below by ShamelessMaya)