I Might Look Stupid (And That’s Okay)
One of my personal focuses this Fall will be growing the Olive Tree Writing Club’s brand and leveraging social media. As we’ve grown this community, we’ve consistently gotten feedback that the one thing you need to do is build distribution. Once you have distribution everything else becomes easier. Inherently, we knew this. But I’ve built this personal narrative that I’m not a social media or marketing guy. I was one of the only people in my high school that didn’t have Facebook. Eventually, I got it in my first year of University because it was a necessity. I got Twitter in 2019 and Instagram in 2021, once again much later than most of my friends and peers.
I didn’t really post much either on social media. I remember during the Facebook days, your social status was closely tied to how many friends you had on FB, how many likes you got, and how many people greeted you on your birthday. Whenever I’d post a picture, I had crippling anxiety for the rest of the day. Every like and comment was a dopamine hit. It was social validation. Part of the reason why I didn’t participate in social media early on was because I wasn’t one of the cool kids, and so I decided just not to participate. It’s this same feeling that prevents me from posting on social media to promote my own writing and now promoting the OTWC.
But then I talk with my friends who have gone through this journey and I realize that everyone feels this way. I recall seeing my friend Jeffrey’s Instagram post about his inner dialogue before he publishes. I assumed he was a natural at social media, but no, he has the same thoughts as me. But he didn’t let this stop him. I’m not unique in my pain and many people have gone through the same (this was the meaning behind my previous post).
My friend Mathurah wrote that what stops many of us from trying is that we’re scared to look stupid. I remember feeling this profusely when I started writing publicly at the start of 2020. I remember reminding myself at the beginning that my writing will suck at first, but I’ll keep being bad, and eventually, I’ll get good. I’m embracing that same energy as I’m looking to grow the OTWC social media and my own writing. At the start, it might be cringe, it might be bad, I might look stupid, but that’s okay.