Recalibrating. Again. #SOL24

January 30, 2024

At the beginning of the year when I made my goal lists, I initially had two things on there that I ultimately deleted. One was learn TikTok and the other was to post to Instagram more/become an influencer. I deleted it from my list because the list was too long, and even I could see that was Too Much.


I still decided to try my hand at both things, and you will all be happy to know that I have let those dreams go.

For one thing, posting to those sites every day/constantly is HARD. Coming up with content is pretty easy. I had seen a couple of movies (The Book of Clarence, Origin) that I had ~opinions~ about that I thought would be good for short form videos. It was also Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day so I had several things to say about that/him. And, in that same vein, learning the platforms themselves isn’t that difficult as they’re both pretty intuitive in some ways and designed for people to be able to be able to use them pretty easily in terms of uploading content.

But, as anyone who has worked with videos knows, the real work is in the editing.

During my residency, I posted a couple of videos to Instagram touring my facilities. To do that, I had to splice together some of them, which took not a little bit of time because, fun fact, when you cut together more than one video, Instagram will only provide captions to the first one you post. So I had to figure out that I needed to upload them as individual reels, add the captions, and then save each reel with the captions before adding it to the other ones to make one video.

So I felt pretty good that I had that all figured out, but after I posted a couple of videos, my daughter pointed out that I needed to add music to the background for interest. Her brain started tuning me out after a minute because there was none of that. Then, my friend texted my daughter and told her that they needed to work on making me less boring because, apparently, all of my personality drained out of my body when I talked to the camera. Talking to the camera with the same energy you have in face-to-face conversations (or even FaceTime/video chats) is a skill! Who knew?

Still, I pressed on, but last week, I got sick and fell off of my video/post making schedule because my throat hurt and I was exhausted. But something good came of that, by which I mean I came to my senses.

The first thing that happened was my daughter, who is an avid YouTube watcher, told me that I didn’t have to post every day. Her favorites posted whenever they felt like it, and their audience eventually found them.

slice of life logo

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

The second thing that happened is that I was preparing to meet with a friend of mine to go over our weekly goals and how we planned to accomplish them. I have a very long to-do list, but I also have two priority items, both related to my sabbatical. Number one is curriculum building/design. Number two is writing related to my sabbatical. The short story collection I pitched as part of my project and the blog posts I have yet to write about my time at Joshua Tree. So I was thinking about these goals, I realized that I need to be writing. Not making videos. Not editing videos. Actually writing. And while being an Instagram/TikTok person may support my goal of being known, it doesn’t support my goal of being known for my writing. Because I actually need to write to do that. Which I can’t do if I’m prioritizing making and editing videos on those platforms.

Big “Remember who you are” energy as my man (lion) Mufasa so aptly put it.

So yeah, I have re-shifted into writing mode. That doesn’t mean I won’t make a video from time to time. I already have an idea for one based on something I’ve been watching lately. But that’s an as the mood strikes me type of thing, not an “I must now treat this as a part time job” thing because, let me tell you, all of that posting and stuff is work, so I’m glad the people who are putting that type of work in are getting paid for it.

As for me and my house? We are back on our sabbatical ish.


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  1. Joy Kirr

    This post makes me wonder… what were your goals for posting on those platforms more often? I’m with your daughter. I post on TikTok when it’s something funny, and I think my students will like it. Many of those I follow post when they’ve got something valuable to share. (The others – I often listen in fast-forward mode or skip altogether – it seems as if they like to hear themselves talk.) I use Instagram to share memories of my life, since I’ve gotten off of Facebook. What are your reasons for being on those platforms? That might help you tailor your ideas. Your writing will definitely affect your posts – people will notice! Good luck with whatever you decide – and there’s no need to decide any time soon – you make your own calendar!

    • Akilah

      Thank you for these questions, Joy! (Also, I apologize for not replying sooner–I must have composed my reply in my head already, just like with texting, sigh.) At any rate, yeah, my first goal was to build a big enough following to monetize, but the reality is that, I am not interested in putting in the work in those platforms for that purpose. So my real goal is to share my writing and book recommendations and also share some fun or interesting things that I’ve done or am doing.

      I rewatched Face/Off (the movie) a while back, which reminded me of a meme, so I made and shared that, and that made me happy because it was in line with the way I think about and process the world. The same with making graphics about my posts. Those are fun for me as well. So my goal (again) is to have fun with it and remember that’s what I’m looking for there–a fun way to connect with the world, especially about my writing and other interests.


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