In 2015, my work as a calligrapher was focused on pretty visuals and my content relied on me posting consistently. Occasionally I wrote a deeper message in the captions, but posting similarly styled shots and using a select few hashtags gained more attention (followers and likes). All of my practice sessions and finished calligraphy work was showcased on Instagram, with a few real life posts sprinkled in. I curated my feed to let my calligraphy define who I was.
In my shift to focus on writing daily, I've cared less about making pretty photos for Instagram. I intentionally give more care and attention towards hitting my mark of writing and publishing everyday. My practice happens in private. I'm usually hunched over my Field Notes, gripping a pen to scratch out a shitty first draft. I'm typing (and backspacing a lot). Or, I'm rereading my post and editing. My practice is a lot less visually interesting or pretty, and it is not unique from day to day. All of my finished work lives on my blog. The photos here are spare. My blog mostly features typed words on a screen. I write hoping the viewers take interest in my message, instead of having a photo speak for me.
I'm relieved I don't have to create this way anymore, after years about overthinking the "Instagram perfect shot," but the platform's popularity still begs me to post and engage. I don't have photos or visuals to promote my writing, so I've felt like I have nothing to post. (Much like a teenage girl with a closet full of clothes who has "nothing to wear"). I've been mulling over how I could create a new way to Instagram about my daily posts, but I've concluded that I don't want or need to. I don't want to dedicate myself to developing a new styled look for my feed or to the commitment to posting on Instagram every day. I already have a priority, writing.
Promoting my work and myself as a brand isn't what I'm aiming for. My work isn't expressed in a photo, and I don't want my life to be lived to create photos either. To move away from worrying about each post, I want to start using Instagram as a human being again, not a brand. My work (content) will live here, on the blog. I'll occasionally share photos from my life on Instagram for fun, but I won't let it define me.