A One-On-One With Shelly-Ann Shaw

By Greg Audino

This week, I sat down for a quick interview with Shelly-Ann Shaw. As an experienced mental health coach emphasizing depression and anxiety, Shelly-Ann’s work is more important than ever, and it’s a pleasure to be a small part of her journey. Read on to learn more about her background, values, and mission as a creator. Don’t forget to check her out on Instagram, Facebook, and be sure to join her community on Vibely!

  1. What is your content about and what inspired you to start creating it?

The central focus of the content I create is mental health-related, with an emphasis on depression and anxiety.

This stemmed from my own personal struggles with depression, and not being able to access the necessary care and support that I needed to properly manage and function effectively with it. Therefore, I decided to create an organization that would offer practical and meaningful support to individuals who are living with depression, also, with the aim of demystifying and destigmatizing it.

  1. What impact do you hope your content has on the world?

It is my hope that my content will offer hope to people in seemingly hopeless situations and inspire people who are living with depression to hang on - even by a thread. I'd like to think that the work I do negates the negative opinions and myths that are often attributed to depression, as these make the daily struggle even harder.

I also hope that my work will give loved ones insight on how difficult it is to live with depression and how all-consuming it can be.

  1. What's one truth about your life as a creator that you think most people might not expect?

It's really not as simple as many people think it is. It can be extremely frustrating especially when you create content that, in your mind, will do exceptionally well, and it doesn't. This cycle is repeated quite often and it can be a daunting and overwhelming experience each time.

Creating meaningful and evergreen content takes extreme commitment, persistence and time, and one has to be wholeheartedly committed to sticking with it for the long haul, even in the moments when it seems as if your plans are not coming to fruition.

  1. Does content creation feel like a forever thing for you, or do you have other professional goals?

The seasons of life are ever changing, and in reality, growth sometimes means closing certain doors and entering new rooms. However, when I created this organization I made a commitment to always offer ongoing support via social media/content creation. I won't always be able to give as much time and effort to it as I do now, but will always provide support via that medium.

  1. What is your creative process like?

I seem to do my best work in the wee hours of the morning when everything is quiet and I'm able to fully enjoy several cups of coffee, undisturbed. I often reflect on the day and sometimes inspiration comes from recalling a conversation I had, a song I heard, someone's shared experience of their ongoing pain or even from my own personal struggles.

At other times, It's quite random. I travel with a notepad to document my thoughts or ideas, for these out-of-the-blue moments of inspiration.

  1. What struggles have you had as a creator and how have you overcome them?

Honestly, I've fallen into the trap of self comparison quite a few times, because there were moments that I felt as if I was putting in so much effort with very little results and I'd compare my work to other creators and feel like crap after. It was a struggle in the early stages but I learned how to be consistent and patient and to acknowledge the work I was doing and I gave myself the same grace and compassion I give to those I love.

There were moments where the algorithm didn't seem to favor any content I created and there were periods of little or no growth and decreased engagement. We still face those issues every now and then, so it means constantly being updated about new trends and strategies. Did I say it is a lot of work? If I did, let me just repeat for emphasis - it's a ton of work.

  1. How does your content reflect your personal values?

I'm naturally an empath who wholeheartedly believes in being there for others, especially in the low seasons of life. The work I do reflects this as I consider the content I share, a daily dose of hope.

  1. What creators or what types of content do you follow for your own interests?

After spending most of the day offering depression support in one way or another, It's imperative that I find a way to unwind and reset. I generally unwind to a true crime mystery (yeah I know this is a bit weird) or a history or cooking channel.

  1. What advice do you have for up and coming creators?

My grandmother always told me 'you must have stick-to-it-iveness' (she coined that word I believe). Being committed to your passion is key. If you're truly passionate about what you do, even when it gets difficult you stay the course because this is YOUR passion and you're determined to see it through, comes what may.

Being consistent and constantly showing up, even when there seems to be little or no engagement is also important. Consistency pays off in the long run. It's not going to be easy but it's definitely worth it.

Let your brand reflect your personal style and don't be afraid to be different.

  1. How has your experience been with Vibely, and how has it helped you accomplish your goals as a creator?

Vibley is an amazing platform. It's been one of the tools I've used to connect with my community members who also use it as a tool to offer support to each other.

The thought and care that was put in the app by the creator is heartwarming, and it's actually one of my favorite apps because of the effort that went into it to make it easier on the part of creators.

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