Lately I’ve been adapting to this new world of social media. I can’t say that it feels natural but that’s likely because it’s new to me. I remember when… I was a big fish in a small sea. I started this blog in the early 2000’s. I was one of the first astrological writers to share my life (my inner life 🙂 + astrological observations, online. I recall the heady feeling of publishing my first website, and blogs, knowing my words reached numbers of people who would likely never meet me. Within a few years after starting my writing career, I had attained what every creator and artist wants -and- needs. An audience – a following – for their work.
For awhile, it was a straightforward formula for making a living doing what I loved; if you resonated with my work, you were highly likely to financially remunerate me with book sales and client sessions.
Over time, I’ve noticed less readers visit my site, more drop off the mailing list, and with fewer people reading, fewer still support my work. Newsletters? Blogs? Books? Not popular, says my dwindling numbers. It can be demoralizing.
For a while, I thought “it’s not you, it’s me”; all of MY changes. Ha! (How funny that we try and take responsibility for the weather). It’s true that when I switched gears from being a full on professional astrologer to intuitive and healer, I lost a few in the transition. However, I no longer think it’s just “me”.
We are in a new paradigm. Whereas once the internet was a smallish pond full of a handful of people in various industries and walks of life, it is now a big ocean full of many people starting their own businesses, creating, entrepeneur-ing. This, in large part, was initiated by the pandemic. It’s radically changed us. There are people doing things for a living now that I hadn’t envisioned anyone doing. And you know where they are doing it? Social media.
I’m a writer who loves to write and publish. You’d think that would translate well since social media is, technically, a publishing platform that captures people’s attention -therefore their eyeballs, and, hopefully their hearts. But in this environment, growth is harder to come by for many Creators, Teachers and Artists.
Is it because informations is both easier and much harder to find? Is it because I’m merely one fish in a big sea that is much more vast and well-populated? Is it because you are tired, and you’ve opted out– because even though there’s more valuable content from artists, creators and teachers available to you now, that’s competing with just too much distracting noise? Is it because I’m a newspaper woman trying to sell newspapers when the whole world has gone digital -or another “guess I’m an old dinosaur” metaphor? (I’m getting tired of that one though. I embrace my wisdom and experience. It gives me a perspective.)
Frankly, I’m perfectly okay with not following the crowd. In everything I am, if what I am considering is not in alignment with me, I won’t do it. Even if everyone else is (hey, URANUS RISING!). Even if I’m being told social media marketing is the only way- a story I’ve heard for years. For a long while, I sat on the social sidelines, feeling unpopular as hell but honoring that it wasn’t in alignment. Then, a shift occurred, for multiple reasons, but three spring to mind: First, I’m feeling better as a result of a new health treatment. So YAY ME!
Secondly, I started viewing IG, especially (for some reason FB hasn’t been as triggering) as MY blank canvas, MY tool for MY creativity. As a kid, I would take whatever tools I had around me and turn them into something fun, for me. I’d do it for myself, for my own magic and entertainment. As a child, I was never bored. I still don’t get bored (I’m suspicious of people who say they’re bored! Use your imagination!).
I like learning. I like creating. I can adapt to this new world. I can change my perception. I can share my poetry, writing and Divination Deck with people on multiple publishing formats. I can do videos!
…Not that it’s easy. Every time, I face down my RESISTANCE to getting in front of a camera.
Because going on camera brings up ALL my conditioning; every video you watch is a direct result of having been able to clear ongoing faulty self-perceptions that creep in. I have strong parental conditioning against being in my Author-ity, showing up as confident, sharing my wisdom, shining my light; I have been actively criticized, discouraged, gaslit -abused- for doing the above. All things I’m doing. So, in a way, this is good for me. It is once again leading me down that Cancerian/Capricorn path of healing, and stepping into my authority (it’s so interesting that I’m an author – seeing as I wasn’t allowed to have a Voice as a child).
There’s a third reason why I’ve warmed up to social media, decided to “do the work” to step into the new.
I can no longer sit here on my blog and hear crickets. I want an audience. I want to feel the lovely back ‘n forth of rapport between you and I. When I create multiple posts, both here and on social media, about my work or my Intuitive Energy Divination Deck -really, the love of my life, now (why don’t you have a copy yet?!) – and despite great feedback, efforts made don’t translate to engagement or sales, I am honestly perplexed.
Let me add: Pluto has been transiting my tenth house Mercury, via opposition. I’m a textbook example of this transit; I can no longer avoid adapting to new technology & tools, at least, not to my detriment. If I do not, because of my own resistance to what’s being asked/required of me, it impacts my mission, teaching, and ability to be heard (my tenth house Mercury). I’ve been asking the “hard questions” of myself.
So, I’m doing this now. Why am I sharing this with you? I’ve heard, over the years, that you resonate with and feel supported by my writing, wisdom. I’m inviting you to join me on the social media, to engage with me there -because, if you don’t engage, that is, offer me your heart/reaction/comments, I’m not seen elsewhere. Others miss out. It really IS a world where your engagement, your vote, allows me to be seen. Or not.
I’m putting it out here in black and white: If you haven’t adapted to the changing times, you, too, may want to reconsider your stance and figure out how to do it in a way that works for you. You CAN have boundaries with social media while also supporting your favorite artists, teachers and creators. I invite you to consider how often you receive help, inspiration, support, encouragement without interacting in exchange. I invite you to consider why your favorite artists, teachers and creators are spending much of their time here. Fewer bookstores, art galleries, teaching/community gathering spaces…It’s where folks are showing up now.
If you’re not there, I get it. All the noise is distracting. The internet has gotten weird over the years. This is just the beginning though. Pluto is entering Aquarius at the end of March; technology will continue to push our comfort zones. Things may get far weirder, probably more edgy and uncomfortable for the “dinosaurs” among us. Compared to what’s ahead of us, altering one’s relationship to social media…mmm, a doable baby step?
If you don’t visit us on the social media formats, understand this is the new NOW. Artists, educators, teachers, writers, musicians, all have been moved from brick and mortar to virtual mediums. Our purpose for living is still to offer you: inspiration!, hope!, spirituality!, beauty!, creativity!… but we can’t do that if you aren’t going to be available to the medium and format that has required us to adapt to it. Most of the Artists, Teachers and Creators you know and love are dealing with this EXACT SAME ISSUE. We talk about it all of the time, to one another – often behind the scenes, sometimes on social media, too. I am not alone.
And so here I am, attempting to adapt. I am getting curious. I am asking new questions of myself, and also of you, my faithful audience, as well. In a world that now requires Creators to be able to do it all ourselves – from creation to production to marketing -AND- do it on social, if one has a business one wants to succeed, it appears that not being on social media, not embracing new technology and learning, is no longer an option.
Thank you to my fan base, for sticking with me. With so many of you, I look forward to a lifelong relationship– filled with more books, more creativity, and more shared conversations about things that matter.
You can follow me on Facebook, at my Jessica Shepherd, Author & Healer page: right here. You can also follow me on Instagram, at my Jessica.Shepherd.Author.Healer page: right here.