I'm sorry for the late post— I returned home from Japan on Tuesday at 2:00 in the morning, and then proceeded to go to class at 9:00 am. Essentially, spring break was a complete success, but the travel was long, and I've since been thrown straight back into the chaos of college. On top of that, I'm currently not feeling the best- I went to a Lorde concert last night, and woke up feeling like death.
I haven't done an LGT in a while, and I really wanted to chat a little bit about something that regularly invaded my thoughts— perfectionism. As a blogger, photographer, editor, writer, Instagrammer... I have the most particular (sometimes annoying) eye for perfection.
My Instagram sometimes gives me anxiety, but interestingly, this anxiety rarely comes from likes or followers, or any material number that represents my feed. My anxiety comes from looking at my feed specifically— when it looks good (at least in my eyes), I feel good, and I feel like I can do anything. There's a strong sense of pride that I put into my work. But it can be impossibly difficult for me to meet my own standards.
Recently, I have been deleting photos on my feed left and right. Most of these photos are perfectly good, and many of them receive a lot of love on my feed— there is no reason for me to delete them. They likely even help my Instagram grow. But I cannot handle them. I often toss out entire photo shoots because they look “off” against my feed. Sometimes I delete photos (even the ones that do really well) because I can’t stand to look at them.
And my need to delete certain photos lies completely unrelated to how successful they are. Again, even if a photo does incredibly well on Instagram, I have no problem deleting it. In contrast, I will always keep photos that do not do well, if I think they look good. My perfectionism is visual, not numerical. I obsess over the overall aesthetic of my feed— that's what I care about.
I struggle with identifying how much of my perfectionism exists in my own head, and how much of it is visible to my viewers. Ask the people closest to me, I regularly screenshot future posts and ask people if it looks good to them. I can’t stand my own feed half of the time, but it’s hard to tell if the “flaws” that I see are noticed by other people, or if maybe I’ve simply driven myself insane by spending too much time looking at it.
This is just occurring to me as I write— I wonder if this is where my desire to create Insta-rants and LGC posts come from. With my obsessive need to curate a perfect aesthetic feed (whether I've succeeded or not is entirely up to you), I think that if I tried to carry over that perfectionism into my writing, and my video personality, I would drive myself insane. I struggle with the contrasting desires of wanting to be real, and genuine, and honest... and to create a visually perfect feed, made up of editorial content.
I think that my feed has "golden ages". When I look through my feed, there are whole sections that make me want to cry, because I hate them. But I cannot justify deleting 15-20 photos all at once, and I know it would be stupid to, considering they were posted weeks ago, or months ago. Then there are sections that I consider a golden age, where everything looks perfect to me— those are the sections that I am always striving to recreate.
I don't know if any of this makes sense to anyone else, or if this resonates with any other content creators. I would love to know if other bloggers and influencers struggle with this as well? I imagine I would grow faster, and be able to post more content if I wasn't quite so obsessive with how my feed looked. I'm a visual person, and the root of my perfectionism comes from that. (Bit of psychology, maybe that's where the root of my eating disorder comes from too. I should ask my therapist.)
One of the true joys of LGC is that when I pick a topic, it always connects to someone. Until now, the topics have always been more broad, along the lines of abuse, suicide, eating disorders, mental health issues... so I have my doubts that I will connect to as many people with this one, but my visual perfectionism is a genuine problem for me, and a major source for my anxiety. And I would love to be proven wrong.
Thank you for your patience, as I get back into the swing of college blogging— the adjustment period after a long break is always one of the hardest.