Writer’s block. I’ve got it. Right here. Right now.

Starting at this screen wondering what to say. Do I confess how keeping up with social media is literally impossible? I mean, I can answer a few comments and direct messages here and there, but I could spend all day doing so leaving no room for creativity. (Truth be told, it’s my Design Society who needs that time from me. I absolutely LOVE seeing their treasures, their vintage scores, and helping them with their design dilemmas. And I do my best to comment and help out in our forum many times a week.)

But social media?

OIE.

Some mornings I open my phone and I’m drowning in questions. And so, I’m sorry. If I’m quiet or don’t get to yours, it’s not a slight. It’s simply reality.

(Writer’s block fading?)

That being said, YOU are want makes the train run.

No “followers”.

No train.

(Can we pause for a moment and talk about how the word ‘followers’ makes me want to vomit? It’s hard enough to plaster my face all over the internet, let alone use a word like “followers”. It sounds so gross. Messianic? Self-absorbed? Ugh… that word just makes me legit cringe. But I’m grateful for… my F——–. Thank you for F——–.

BUT! I know you have questions and I think you deserve a voice so for the next few weeks on Youtube I’m answering those questions that you’ve been submitting over on Instagram. I LOVED them. What sort of books do I collect? What’s the fuss about the stove? Why don’t I just refinish my floors? What projects do we have going on right now? And I didn’t just answer them, any time I could, I tried to give a good back story to flesh it out…. WHY am I saving for CERTAIN flooring, why in the WORLD would I drive a rusty truck but buy an expensive stove… how long have I been buying particular books and why… – These were great questions. I thank you for them and it gave me a chance to really be creative in filming the B-roll so you could see what we were talking about. These questions also gave me a chance to ponder some of my own design decisions. There were so many questions that we made it a Part I and Part II video and we’ll follow that most likely with a Spring Farmhouse Tour. Because, after all, Youtube is like throwing spaghetti as a wall these days. It’s really sad.

Creators have TOILED to create their channels and now, across the board, views are down. Tik-Tok is where it’s at.

Reels.

6 seconds are trending this week.

30 seconds the next.

Go back in an edit after you’ve posted a reel? That’s a recipe for disaster views-wise.

Pick a song that’s not trending just cause you like it? Same thing. No bueno.

Accommodate the trendy gnat-like attention span? Do I HAVE to do that to stay relevant?

Ick.

In fact, the 2023 Instagram algorithm demands that all comments be responded to AND direct messages if you want any action. That’s crazy. And makes the Amish lifestyle look rather appealing quite frankly. That demand to become a slave (mentally or physically) to an app makes me want to don some drab homespun and make my own soap. For real. …. my soul longs for more. Do you have anything stirring in your soul?

I do.

The reality is, I’m going to be 50 before I know it. I’ve got dreams and plans and goals. I don’t want to spend precious time making sure I tick all the boxes of some social media app that could be gone TOMORROW. It’s true – just like THAT Youtube could pull the plug on my channel, my IG account could get hacked again…. and it’s OVER. All that work… all those “followers” – gone. (I’m not living in a state of panic or anything, but clearly, things like Instagram aren’t promised to be around ten years from now!) I want to be 50 and elegant... not desperate for ‘likes’. I want to take people to Paris, help them with their curtains and paint color choices and make beautiful paintings (something I’ve quietly been doing on the side). I have no desire to play popularity contest games. I only want to make beautiful things and encourage others to do likewise. Beautiful rooms, beautiful trips, beautiful paintings… I refuse to play the game. It’s like my soul is having a tantrum – “I WON’T DO IT”, it’s screaming.

So what’s my plan?

Well, I AM a businesswoman. As much of an artist, as I want to be, ‘Parisienne Farmgirl’ is also a business and I’m blessed to have it. I just have to keep sorting out how to do it in a way that feeds my family and my soul as opposed to robbing my family of time with me and sucking the life from my soul.

Savvy?

I feel like I’ve got a good handle on it and doing things like Q and A videos ticks all the good, fulfilling boxes while giving my audience the voice and attention they deserve too.

You know what, while we’re at it… I had no idea where this blog post was going to go! But here we go –

It’s true. Creators are at the literal mercy of the ap. Youtube. Instagram. Tik Tok…. you name it. If those things go, if we get hacked, – the only thing the creator has is ‘the follower email address’. It’s the reason we all make newsletters, members-only content, substacks, and sign-up pages. If it all goes south, at least the content creator has their email list. So here goes…

I’d LOVE to have you join my newsletter. I’m TERRIBLE about promoting it, but I’m not going to blow up your inbox (I’m way too busy painting:) however, I try to stay in touch once a week, share some fun anecdotes about what’s happening with the family, share a design tip or two and then I simply share what’s going on in the world of Parisienne Farmgirl. Links to the podcast, a video I think you might enjoy, the latest books I’m reading… I want my emails to you to be relevant and to bless your day.

(Though a few months ago, one ‘lady’ took the time to reach out and say that War and Peace was a shorter read than my newsletter, and a better one.)

Precious.

Anywhoo – One of the MOST POPULAR questions I receive when I do have time to read those comments or check those DM’s is about paint colors. Every day – “What’s the name of the green?” “What’s the color of your bedroom?” “What color is the kitchen again?” I LOVE THAT YOU LOVE COLOR. Color is SO important to me! So last year I made an official paint color chart with ALL the colors and brands we’ve used in the house and you will receive that automatically when you sign up for my little newsletter. My way of saying THANK YOU. It’s a free newsletter and it simply means I am not at the mercy of social media to have contact with you. They can’t take it away from me:) And as I prepare for the future of ‘Parisienne Farmgirl’ that’s terribly important to me. It will take just a moment and the paint chart will come right to you. I thank you in advance.

Goodness, writer’s block be darned. I guess I had something brewing this morning and it wasn’t just my coffee.

I want to know what you think about all this. And I want to know if you’ve contemplated your personal, creative future. What changes are you making now or what habits are you creating now that will affect the ‘future you’ or help you become the person you want to become? I have no desire to stay stagnant, but for me, that means some serious rumination. I roll things around in my mind over and over again and try to come at an idea from all directions. I guess this social media thing has been weighing on me lately. Audiences are dwindling for everyone unless they go the “six second gnat attention span route” and so, change and accommodation need to happen. I don’t want to keep desperately trying to play the ‘get more followers’ game. I’d rather take care of who I have – you; keep you inspired, take care of my Design Society, walk the streets of Paris with you…. all those good beautiful things.

As always, I’m glad you’re here. I appreciate you so very much.

PS: Speaking of all things beautiful, there are about 200 copies of the Spring magazine left. I’d love to send one your way. Grab yours here.