I’ve written on this topic before because the change has been so profound but since we are all doing it now and have a chance to share together, I might as well share again with some updated insight.
I came here looking for a place to find readers for stories I had written, potential patrons for my patreon. While I did find a few of those over the course of two years and a half years, that hardly became my focus here at the platform.
Steemit has served as a beautiful mirror for me, showing me what is inside myself, things I otherwise may have spent years discovering. It’s also been a stone for me to sharpen myself on and a well of resources waiting to be dug up. And while it’s always evolving and changing, it has remained a community full of really wonderful people.
Trying new things
While my primary purpose here was never getting the highest payout, I was trying to find a way to connect with potential readers in a way that was still me and still raw. This led me to a lot of experimentation. I started writing articles about self development, the creative process, society, and community. This is something I had always wanted to do. I started some stream-of-consciousness freewriting, and evening took my first stab at vlogging. I started my language learning tutorial here which I plan on finishing this year, got into writing poetry for the first time and shared way more than I planned on sharing. Now @vincentnijman and I have started a podcast, which I never imagined doing but it is something I really enjoy now.
Getting out of my comfort zone
Many of these things pushed me to grow. Sharing my name and face was something I was terrified of when I started here. Now I do it pretty easily. I feel much more comfortable sharing all kinds of things. Speaking at a camera is still not very natural for me but I love using steem to push myself. I was even going to make this a video but I’ve been out all day and didn’t have a good chance.
Connecting with a beautiful community
The community is what has kept me here so long. I’ve made friends from every corner of the earth and some of these friendships rival the friends I have in real life, and I have pretty good friends in real life. I don’t want to focus on any one person or drop names but you all know who you are. You’ve given me so much energy and support and helped me stay positive through some difficult times.
Engaging peacefully with people who disagree.
One of the reasons I never wrote articles before was that I was afraid to get into spats with people who disagree. Eventually it always happens, but the community here was really civil and so it was a nice playground for me to float ideas. I got to test to see what kind of opposing ideas people might have and sharpen my ideas without it getting too heated. Now I feel much more confident dealing with this. I also got better at expressing my ideas in a way people from very different perspectives could appreciate them.
When I found steemit and steem, I was attempting to become triggerless, to be able to find peace in any situation. Obviously it’s ok to have preference and to gravitate towards preference and to have emotions, but I did not want to let my emotions overwhelm me into dwelling or overthinking anything. I wanted to accept what is out of my control. Steemit has been a fantastic teacher for me. It showed me all my triggers.
When the bidbots were taking over, when greed seemed to get the best of people, when terrible articles got the best payout, when scams were much more prevalent....I freaked out, I almost rage quit 3 or 4 times.
Learning to love myself more
At first I didn’t have high hopes here, but after steem reaches $5, at one point I was making $20 usd a day. I thought that if bitcoin hit 100k, I could easily make a living off this.
Then the bear market came.
I realized that nothing is a sure thing and that the whole bull market of 2017 was too good to last indefinitely. That’s not to say things won’t get better, they absolutely will, but three months of blogging are not going to turn you into a sustainable full time blogger, even in such a great environment.
So I forced myself to work harder off the blockchain and earn more money doing regular work. I realized that a lot who I wanted to be I couldn’t be because I couldn’t provide for myself. I wanted to post without worrying about payout and just appreciate whatever came, but I was too poor not to care.
Rather than sitting around and waiting for bitcoin to recover, I got a job. I don’t judge people for not getting a job, but I realized that if I loved myself, I’d make sure I could afford food and a comfortable bed, at the very least, before I worried about being a good person. Maslow hierarchy of needs.
So I built myself up from nothing without expecting anything from the blockchain. Classic American dream or whatever except not really. I don’t believe anyone needs to work hard, but it sure is better than sitting around and complaining. The really important thing is to always improve yourself. If that’s as a starving painter or as a professional freeloader, that’s ok with me, as long as you are honestly improving yourself, becoming more of who you want to be, and that is something I do a whole lot of here.
Getting into crypto
This was my first chance to get my hands on any crypto too. I was watching bitcoin since 2011 but I didn’t have any money, I didn’t even have a computer of my own. Finally I had a way to earn it. And not only that the community taught me about how it all worked and showed me how it could solve problems.
I spent a year casually researching coins and their use cases and I feel well versed in an important aspect of the future now. I certainly would not have done this without steem.
I own some bitcoin now, thanks to steem. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even get rich from it some day.
I’m still focused on IRL at the moment but I have this extra aspect to my life now, a second life that will most certainly merge with my every day life at some point. It’s already begun.
I am finding readers and listeners and friends and collaborations here. It will definitely continue to impact my life for the better
For me steem is still deeply tied to steemit because of that’s how it started for me....but I look forward to new platforms, SMTs and other use cases for steem. I found my community at steemit, I’m happy if others can find their community at dtube or 3speak or some other front end.
This place is worth the time. Don’t give it more than you have to give, but don’t treat it as a get-rich-quick or a scam because it is such a wonderful place to be.
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