A fellow blogger said they didn’t want to insult me, but noticed my posts don’t receive many comments and asked how I keep going.
“What is the point of writing if no one comments or reacts to what you have posted?”
“I don’t spend time worrying about social proof. There have always been bloggers who received more comments and shares than I did or do.”
“But how do you keep going if you don’t hear from anyone. How do you know if anyone likes what you are doing?”
It is a reasonable question and I have always thought about it on and off. My answer has been relatively consistent.
“I write because it is important to me. It helps me clarify my thoughts, feelings and ideas. It is like breathing.
Sometimes it is how I share some thoughts with others.”
When they asked me how to monetize it that was when I knew we probably weren’t going to see eye-to-eye on this and that is ok.
I won’t lie and say my ego has never been involved in this or tweaked because others got writing jobs and or opportunities that were never offered to me.
It has happened several times and I have rarely been told why I wasn’t chosen.
The best I got was a comment from someone that all of the people who were chosen had a better network than I did.
Some of those people were and maybe still are better writers but not all. Some are awful but you have to have a thick skin with the writing game.
So much of this is subjective and that classic example I use is Mark Twain on Jane Austen.
I haven’t any right to criticise books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.- Letter to Joseph Twichell, 13 September 1898
You could argue it is better to receive a response like Twain’s than nothing but you could also argue against that too.
Experience proved to me there is no accounting for taste and that what you think is fantastic others may hate and what you think is fair might be called amazing.
So I write and hope that I produce something I think is solid and not junk.
More often than not I find my own criticism more painful than not receiving responses to things where I poured my heart out and or was vulnerable.
Remember that thick skin I mentioned earlier, if you want to publish you have to have it or work on developing it.
Sometimes it is worth having a few different places to write because it provides you with different opportunities to explore your voice in different ways.
Been a rough weekend for a variety of reasons ranging from some health hiccups to aggravation about life changes.
If I had my druthers I’d take a few more days off to make up for the time I lost and hope this feeling of malaise passed.
That is not an option I’ll choose to activate now.
Life has these moments and sometimes the best way to manage is to pretend you’re an airplane flying through some clouds.
It will be a little darker for a moment and then clear sunlight will return.
So I remind myself that I have some big accomplishments to feel good about, things that I thought might take longer than they did.
Wasn’t so long ago that I was stressed out about some of them and now…I am not.
Sometimes the best way to get past a challenge is to go through.