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Why I Failed the #Marchmeetthemaker Instagram Challenge and How to Succeed in Future

I am writing this as an admission of failure on my part, to complete an instagram challenge #Marchmeetthemaker. Now, we are only halfway through the challenge, which if your not familiar gives creative businesses a prompt to post daily to encourage others to find new inspiring people who are busy making things. Sadly, I stopped on about day 5 and haven’t had chance to catch up. This isn’t the first challenge of this nature I have flaked on including challenges I have set myself. I get really frustrated with myself when I quit, as I like the idea of having a daily focus. The idea of meeting a small task each day should be a breeze but for me it simply isn’t, so I thought I would spend some time reflecting why I struggle to commit to challenges like this.

Here are the 5 reasons I failed.

1. Time

The last week has been surprisingly busy and although I am now working as an artist full time, this means that I cannot turn down any opportunity. In the past week alone I have done a full day finance course, an artisan market, worked in a shop. Been to the doctors, been to the hospital, had an interview, been to Oxford for international women’s festival to attend a workshop by the amazing duo Jen and Lydia Wild from Licence to Live and decorated my hall. The daily prompts are great but its hard to capture my workspace when I’m not in it! I am also not in the habit of photographing the stages of my work or how I post it so when I am out and about I simply cannot come up with an image for these challenges.

2. Comparison

The great thing about the #marchmeetthemaker challenge is you get to have a look at what other creatives are up to behind the scenes. This is wonderful, but like so often on social media everyone is putting forward their best most polished selves. I had to stop myself one day spending an entire afternoon cleaning my workspace to take a photo that makes it look like I have got my sh*t together. When in reality in the run up to my fair the room was completely turned upside down in the process.

Keeping curious is about an honest account of creative living. I believe passionately in the benefits of creativity and believe that everyone needs an outlet to express themselves. But if your anything like me, then creative living often doesn’t look like a glistening Instagram filter. It is a pile of papers and hoarded materials that might be useful one day. I have loved seeing what others do but I can’t help feeling that with the many I have seen I haven’t seen the real side. The spit and sawdust version that is often the reality.

3. Perfectionism

Similar to the above point there is a vain side of me that does want to present myself and my work in the best possible light. I am not immune to the high of getting new likes and follows. I want everything I post to be a babystep to building an empire. This often is the barrier to posting anything at all. I want a 10/10. One of the most useful things that came out of the Licence to Live workshop ‘How to get what you want’ is we should always aim for 7/10.That amount of effort isn’t scary, we can do 7/10 easily and without much thought. Heck this post is definitely in the 7/10 category but as the Wild’s remind me done is better than perfect.

4. Motivation

Whilst reflecting on this all, the thing I struggle most with is motivation, as at the end of the day, with all things considered….does it really matter. Yes doing the challenge has meant that I have found some interesting people to follow and when I have participated I have gained new likes and follows but will these convert into people that will help me on my journey- probably not. I would love to post every day with beautiful content but in actual fact I’m busy in the background hustling and that’s not always so glamourous!

5. Lack of prep

The biggest reason I failed at this challenge is that I tried to do it in real time and in reality the ONLY way to succeed at this is to plan ahead, photograph accordingly and schedule your posts otherwise life simply gets in the way.

So if you want to do a daily insta challenge go for it. The best thing about he #Marchmeetthemaker challenge is the prompts. Over the course of the month it has made me consider all aspects of my business and my creative practice in general. It has given me an insight into what other people are interested in and how I might approach things in future. Hats off to Joanne Hawker who set up #Marchmeetthemaker for her amazing efforts and I do think this will be a challenge I will attempt again next year but I will plan ahead!

I am still running another challenge for myself #Keepspringcurious which I deliberately set as a none instagram challenge and without a daily time constraint. My idea is that over the next months or so, I will test new ideas and processes in a sketchbook as I have fallen out of the practice and I want to get back into the habit.

This is not about content to share, this is about personal development and so far I love it- feel free to join in. All you need is a new notebook or sketchbook and have a play- FOR YOU and no one else’s eyes need ever see it.

Be messy and have fun.


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