I met a friend for a run at the trail today. I enjoy the time I spend with her as we get moving, soak up the sun and fresh air, catch up on personal life and talk art and business. She’s a creative person as well so it’s great to share thoughts with her and know that she truly understands.
As we talked about art business, a topic that came up was social media. You might remember that I basically declared war on social media last summer. I largely stepped away so that I could learn to control my use of social media instead of letting it control me. And if I’m being honest, to a certain extent, I still have trouble with it today. It’s a slippery slope that will probably always be that way. But today I’m also much more aware of my social media use. It doesn’t receive my attention first thing in the morning anymore and I’m no longer victim to the comparison trap. Whew! It feels good to say that.
But the biggest benefit to unplugging for awhile?
As I shared with my friend the goals I have for my business moving forward, I realized that intentionally walking away from the noise and instead focusing on who and what is truly important to me, has set me on a path that is so.very.right. I talked about this some in my recent art update, where I shared positive changes that have taken place. But just letting my thoughts and dreams spill out into the open air made me aware of how much things have changed…how much *I* have changed.
Now, this post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t also share a book that I’ve read twice in recent months because its message is so life-giving. It’s called “Look and Live: Behold the Soul-Thrilling, Sin-Destroying Glory of Christ” by Matt Papa. Can you see where I’m going with this? Merely deciding to stop using social media was not, and is not, enough to change my behavior. In other words, human willpower isn’t powerful enough. It takes eclipsing the object of our affection with something, or someone rather, who is *far* better. And I’m here to tell you that Jesus will satisfy you like no one and nothing else can. Just try him.
Back to clarity. I’ve never been more certain of the steps I’m taking today as I live out my purpose. It’s almost like the flood gates have been opened just enough that there is a steady flow of water. Inspiration is everywhere. I’ve now incorporated a daily practice of making art. I’m getting better at time management. Things that previously eluded me as a business owner are now becoming clear. I’m learning from past mistakes.
Why am I sharing all this?
It’s because I’m as real as you are. I don’t have all the things figured out. But if hearing my struggles and how I’ve worked through them can help you somehow, then writing this post is worth it.
So what does my social media use look like today?
My work postings are currently on a Monday-Friday schedule which is CRAZY because it’s the thing that I fought against for so long. I always struggled with creating good content that others would want to see and simply didn’t want to be tied to my phone. But the funny thing? As daily art has become part of my routine, having fresh content is not difficult and I naturally want to share it. Social media is an excellent tool for that purpose…provided I continue to look to God for direction and validation…and not the number of hearts or likes I receive. There is a deeper “why” for sharing my art, too, but I’ll save that for another post.
So there it is. From fog to clear skies. Back to my first love of drawing. On a mission. Trusting in the way I’m being led.
If you’re on Instagram you can follow me at @christinastewrd and on Facebook at ChristinaStewardArt. I’ll share artwork in progress like this:
And finished art like this:
But only Monday through Friday. I mean, let’s not go overboard here. 😉