Today marks a year anniversary of the first post published on Dark Matter. I don’t think I realized when I created this website that I was testing myself. Freshly graduated with my undergraduate and moved back in with my parents, my confidence took a severe blow after being rejected countless times from employers-- definitely not how I pictured my life after graduation. Instead of picking out furniture for a new apartment or choosing an insurance plan, I found myself sitting on the couch every morning, watching reruns with my mother while searching for my first “real” job on search engines. It sucked. There was nothing beautiful or endearing about the sadness and hopelessness I felt when questioning my life choices. My inner turmoil probably added to the lack of patience with being rejected for story pitches to other publications. That’s how this website came to be.
It felt great to finally have no limitations and write about the music I wanted to write about. I started this as a platform for incredible bands and artists to get recognition they deserve. Somewhere along the way, I became a bit of a sell out, covering music I didn’t appreciate for publicity. I got back on track towards the end of the year, and I hope to stay there.
There’s over 60 posts on the site. That’s more than one a week. I’d estimate each one takes up at least 3-4 hours between interviewing, writing, editing and formatting. That’s 240 hours of unpaid and sometimes, unrecognized work.
I’m still in disbelief that one person wants to read my writing, let alone, thousands on a good post. Or that I have people actually interested in contributing to the site when all I can offer them is free access to shows and a resume builder. Not to mention the amount of music I get submitted on a weekly basis.
At the same time, it’s really hard too. It’s discouraging when one post gets only 20+ views or the artist doesn’t share or at least retweet the post. I hate that social media is a huge factor in success because I don’t have the desire or the time to be active on Twitter daily, which results in a follower count drop. The worst days are when my medication affects my creativity, and I stare at the screen, rewriting sentences before shutting my laptop, questioning why I even bother.
I learned a lot about myself this year. I say awesome a lot while talking to someone over the phone. I will never become a website designer or a graphic designer. I can say no. I can’t over exert myself. Sometimes publicity isn’t worth it. But, I also learned I’m talented. I deserve to be happy. I am more than a few likes on a Facebook post. I have an awesome support system. I have so much more to learn. I can put myself first.
I’m not where I want to be, but I’m getting there.
I hope if you took the time to read this weird and messy essay I wrote at 1 a.m. that you feel encouraged to do something you’ve been wanting to do-- whether it’s starting that podcast, creating that blog or starting that Youtube channel. Know you will get frustrated and disheartened but do it for yourself because really, what do you have to lose?