Friday Artist Journal

Hello my friends! It is Friday once again so I am here to talk about my week and what’s on my mind.

Normally I would have a video message for you all, but lately I have not had the uninterrupted time to sit and talk to my camera, and when I do sit down to talk, I feel like my words don’t come out correctly. Today’s thoughts are in text form.

This week I: explored graphic design for my music project, Salty Moon Arcade; made an instagram and a few posts for the music project; worked on the next track to release; continued work on my crow digital painting; studied techno music; and felt intense imposter syndrome.

My experiEnce using tik toK and instagram for music marketing

This month I created a Tik Tok and an Instagram for my music project, Salty Moon Arcade. While I was hesitant to create either due to my disdain for an algorithm deciding if I am worthy enough to have any exposure for my work, I am enjoying using Tik Tok.

Instagram has not been successful for me what-so-ever. My posts are not shown even to the hashtags I tag my posts with, and not shown to my current 10 followers. Another frustrating thing is that of those 10 followers (it was 12 yesterday), most appear to be bots, and of the ones who are not, my posts are not shown to them at all.

How do I know my posts are not being shown to my Instagram followers? Insights tells me my posts are seen by 0% of my followers. Basically, it appears Instagram is no longer a viable option for unknown artists anymore.

This is a video I posted to Instagram that got only 7 views despite hashtagging. On TikTok, it received 166 views

I was aware, because I had a previous Instagram account, that engagement on the platform was dwindling among users, especially since TikTok began to gain more momentum. After watching some YouTube music marketers claiming that even in 2021 it was beneficial and useful to have an Instagram, I am beginning to think they are industry plants, and likely paid by Facebook to say such things.

I have seen zero engagement on my Instagram posts, versus on TikTok, even though the most views I get is around 160, I do feel I am getting to connect with others and I am getting engagement.

Thanks to TikTok, my song “Anxiety”, has more than 10 streams; which is 10 more than any music in the past I have ever put out. (The most streams a previous project of mine got was 6!) Ten streams certainly isn’t paying my bills, but marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.

I do find TikTok to be a bit of a slippery slope in regard to time consumption.

Instagram I am finding zero value in, and am now questioning if I will continue to use it. I won’t delete the account just yet, but I don’t think I will be posting or utilizing it too frequently.

The constant battle of imposter syndrome

This week, though I was creating regularly, I have been battling that damn imposter syndrome. Of course it happens after I was feeling confident about my work and being myself.

I am sure scrolling social media is not helpful, either, and likely is part of the triggering cause. There are so many amazingly talented and attractive people on TikTok, why would anyone pay 15 seconds attention to a woman in her 30s?

The game and the rules are not meant for me

Yesterday, I realized I’ve been playing the game of society (and music) that is rigged against me. I have been trying to play by the rules that were created for those with money and are neurotypical; are maintained by those with money and neurotypical, and as I am not someone with money nor neurotypical, the game is rigged against me.

Even on a local level the game is rigged. In the area where I am, when I first arrived, I didn’t know any of the local musicians.

I got to know some of them and quickly realized even those in their 20s and 30s who were the popular musicians in the area, didn’t work. Some of them had never worked an actual hourly paying job! Their parents still give them money to fuel their passions and their parents use their connections to get them gigs and radio spots.

I am often confused when I see certain musicians or bands who aren’t very good, or who are simply copying another artist, receiving so much radio play, getting big gigs, and getting interviews and what not.

I realize now it is all simply because of money.

If you don’t have the money, you don’t get ahead.

Pretty frustrating realization as I have felt like I’m forced to run laps around musicians just to get level with them, and in reality, they never had to struggle the way I have.

No hate to those who are born into money; it must be nice.

I often wish I had been born into money so that I could be a famous musician by now, but it’s a rigged game that isn’t fair.

And, I realize this as a white woman who does recognize her own privileges and still sees the struggles and unfair rules I face. I imagine those with darker skin than mine struggle even more than I have just to be noticed and appreciated.

Playing the game by my own rules

All that realization led to was me deciding I have to play my own game by my own rules.

Not only is the game rigged against those who aren’t born into money, it’s also rigged against neurodivergent people, like me.

From a very young age I have been trying to fit into a world that isn’t made for me, and has repeatedly told me I am not welcome in. For this reason, I have perceived my struggles as my failures and have countless times given up on something because I thought I wasn’t “fit” for it.

The truth is and has always been that my struggles aren’t my failures, it is a failure on society’s part.

I must use my struggles to push me forward. Though it feels like I am drudging through thick mud while my counterparts (usually male) are swimming or even just floating along.

I’m not saying others don’t have the same struggles, I am only saying that my perception has me feeling like I am exerting way more energy than some of my counterparts.

I know I am not alone in this and it simply means I have to create my own rules and my own game. Maybe no one at all will ever care what my music is. Maybe I am really not that good at all. But, then again, neither are A LOT of the famous musicians that are force fed down our throats.

I write my own music, record it, produce it, market it, create art for it. I’m a badass! I am a powerful force to be reckoned with, much more than the likes of many pop stars that are cozy in their million dollar homes right now.

They don’t write their music; they don’t produce their music; they don’t do all the recording on their own; and they certainly don’t have anything to do with marketing their music on their own.

So, if the game is not made for me, why am I playing it?

Why do I allow the rigged game to make me feel inadequate?

the future is mine, if i want it

I have to keep focus.

If I want success with my work, I have to keep trudging forward even if and when not a single soul is paying attention.

I have to utilize the tools of a rigged game, but I need to keep my head space clear and understanding that quite often, that rigged game is not going to let anyone hear or see my work.

I need to be okay with that, and keep creating because I am compelled to do it.

Because I love to create.

I have to stop putting this imaginary pressure on myself, which was handed to me by a society that doesn’t care about me or my work simply because I am not its definition of “normal”.

Handed to me because in a Capitalist society, only money is worthy of attention.

My goal now is to allow myself more breathing room. When I feel that pressure, I have to remind myself: “Not my game. Not my rules.” and continue to do whatever the hell I want (as long as I am not hurting others, of course.)

Share your experience/thoughts?

Do you also struggle with imposter syndrome?

Have you reached the realization that the game is rigged against you, and you must form your own game?

Let’s discuss in the comments about what we can do to further ourselves without fitting into the boxes society has created for us.

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If you’re interested in my work, please follow this blog. I post a couple times a week about my work and processes. You can also support my work financially in various ways so that I can continue to do my passion work.

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