The point is to alienate as much people as possible3 min read

I feel kinda bad when people unfollow me online or tell me in real life they aren’t really into my stuff (though I prefer the second one). I know I shouldn’t care but sometimes I can’t help myself.

I work so hard on the things I put out and I truly believe in them. I do not think my work is the greatest (yet) but I do think my perspectives are at least worth checking out. Wether that’s written perspectives on a myriad of things (like this Monologue) or literal perspectives on the world that I capture with my camera (most people call this photography). I’m not entitled to anybody’s attention so when I don’t get it, that’s fine.

It’s when people actively decide they are no longer interested in what I do and leave me, it hurts a little. It’s a part of who I am to immediately question my actions and if I perhaps did something wrong to alienate that person. Perhaps it was something that I didn’t do that caused them to be bored. I will never know. These things are feeding my insecurity and might cause me to give up altogether.

I’m sending out the third issue of Dialogue tonight and I always feel so vulnerable when I do these things. I hear the voices in my head going: “Why do you ask for attention like this? Why should people read your emails? Why do you pretent like you matter to them? Your work is bland and corny, this is exactly how you lose interest from these people forever.”.

Despite those doubts and reservations, I choose to move forward with these things anyway. If I don’t allow myself to experiment and stumble, how can I grow? That’s why I know that even when my work isn’t the greatest, at least my efforts are definitely up there. Being honest throughout the process is scary, but at least I’m doing things that I enjoy. Things that I find important. Sharing a message that I believe is worth sharing.

Perhaps it’s actually the point to alienate people in that process. If I keep on pushing my capabilities, my vision and my output, it has to change. Hopefully for the better. This also means I can’t continue pleasing everybody that can be roughly regarded as my audience.1 I have to lose people along the way or otherwise my work probably isn’t sufficiently evolving.

In my eyes things can go either two ways: I keep all the members of my initial audience and remain stagnant in my work, I’m plateauing, or I push through and lose a few people along the way, only to gain more eyes for work that’s growing to be more interesting and meaningful everyday.

Which one it will be we will find out in the coming years.

  1. I don’t really have an audience audience but there are some people aware of what I do and even an audience of two counts, in my opinion. ↩︎

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Hey, I’m Mitchel Lensink. I’m a photographer and writer from The Netherlands. Want to know more than that? You can find out on my about page.

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