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How I Almost Redesigned My Website From Scratch and Finally Settled On Just Adding a Blog Feature

I thought I might go to bed early tonight. After all, I have been fighting a nasty flu/cold/plague that seems at the moment to be on its way out the door after four days of staying inside except for one trip to get rid of the trash. I was lying in bed, thinking how annoyed I was that no one has commented on the fact that I haven't posted anything on Facebook in over six whole days. I was also thinking about this.

Twenty-two months and one day ago, when the news of the pandemic finally became newsworthy in the United States, I posted that. I wanted to quit all social media. I wanted to remove my presence from the very essence of everything I despise.

But, alas, poor Yorick, I also have been conditioned to believe that I need social media. I remember reading an article years ago that actors with a greater social media presence could land roles over actors with less of one because of that already there, potential audience. I believed that bullshit.

I'd like to say I crafted an excellent social media presence, but I messed that up several times over throughout the years. I've deleted and started Facebook from scratch more times than the number of years since I first signed on (2008!). I used to have more followers on my older Twitter and Instagram, well, mostly Twitter. Still, I had accounts, abandoned them, and then wonder why my social media presence hasn't grown.

I had a getting there YouTube profile with FIFTY subscribers. That is nowhere near the 1000 subscribers needed to meet the first step for monetization, but it was a start and right now, the words 'No Subscribers' is demotivating. I stupidly got rid of much of the content and closed the account, thereby losing my subscribers. I thought it wasn't enough. It wasn't worth it. I still don't think it's worth it, but I have it. It's there. It exists. Ten of my 'older' works are there, but my newest entry, "Facial Yoga with Dimitri" has the most views at the moment. Maybe that's a sign of something positive coming my way.

Various times this week I found myself moments away from clicking 'Post' with screenshots of my YouTube (Matt Cogswell)

my Twitter (Cogswell Matt)

my Instagram (mattcogswellactor)

my NPX profile (Matt Cogswell | New Play Exchange)

hoping that someone who hasn't already would suddenly follow me and somehow that would show I'm credible and THIS THING THAT I AM TRYING TO DO would start coming together magically.

One of my friends said that this website does not look very creative. It's not. I'm having a difficult time putting myself on a page because I am multiple things. Even this site announces:

Public Speaking Trainer, Interview Consultant, Proofreader, Actor, Content Creator, English Tutor

Oh, I also earn most of my pay from teaching, but I don't need to promote those skills. I have jobs in those fields. Yet, I still have an "Educational Resume" section on my website because as an adjunct instructor, as an undiscovered actor, as an emerging playwright and solo performance artist, I am always auditioning for the next gig.

I know I am far from alone in this struggle. I know of many playwrights in particular who are busting their asses off in terms of creating work and getting published and produced, and I admire them, as envious as I am. I've also realized that many of them are Masters of Social Media and have acquired the audience that could actually get their work recognized.

I can't play that game. I try. I really do.

In less than a week I'm officially back at the jobs that pay for me to sit in my small dining room space turned new office. I made that change on Christmas and have grown to enjoy this nook. During this time off I didn't write a great new play or create tons of new visual content or win the lottery. Before me on the wall is a blend of notes for a workshop I'm teaching in two days, a list of older monologues that could become a new play, pages of notes for the two courses that start next week, a brainstorm for a short play I created one day while waiting for a class to begin, lists of financial related items, and reminders of what I spend my money on. My visual field is just as complicated as this website because I am many things, and it takes many social media sites to begin to organize them all. But, how do I get people to care about them, look at them, subscribe to them, share them? When this is done, I will share this blog entry if I can. I don't know. This is my first time trying this. It may just live here on my site, to the right of Educational Resume and Testimonials.

This is the point where I would love to say that here comes that brilliant ending, but I don't know what it is. I guess I just have to keep trying, stay consistent with my current profiles, and only start from scratch if a new social media platform is discovered.

I hope that doesn't happen.

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