As writers, I think there is one thing we must all agree to come clean on. For all we blather on about it being all about the story and love of the written word, at the core we are still in it for the attention. Not one of us has ever pursued writing in earnest without immediate thoughts of publishing contracts, huge advance checks, and hordes of fans to cater to.
If we are honest about nothing else let it be this. Because so much of writing is wanting to make something all our own and have the world fall in love with it, and by extension fall in love with us. It’s literally carving up parts of your soul and offering them up for consumption, and therefore is all the more devastating when people hate it. Worse still when they don’t even notice.
I write of this tonight because my last two posts went over cold at best. A like for each, and one new follower (Thank You!) but nothing more. Which if I apply logic is not at all bad for a new and irregularly-kept blog that is not really advertised or put out there. But as you will come to find logic is something I rarely entertain.
Childish as it might be, I felt instant hurt that my phone wasn’t going off with ten or more likes and follows after I posted. Did I do something wrong? Were my posts so bland and pointless as to not warrant the time of day? Do I not write good at all? All the above a part of me still sincerely believes and as such is a big part of my battle towards finishing a novel.
I can hate it all I want, but a lot of my writing mojo relies on positive validation. Which I have to accept is terribly exhausting to those around me, because you got to know that this constant need for validation isn’t neatly contained to my writing. We’ve all been with that type that always need to have their egos petted and soothed, or they’ll unleash a fury of sulking and whining like no one has ever seen before.
We are not going to get that from being a writer. Even if we stumble onto being the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling there are going to be just as many that tear you down as lift you up. You cannot choose to rely on writing for validation when it’s an art form that literally depends solely on the opinions of others, informed or not.
Like all art, it’s more about endurance and faith in yourself, the drive and ability to take the shit they will absolutely throw at you and keep going. That is why so many people fail when it comes to the arts because they are looking for that pat on the back and someone to tell them they did good.
The truth is it all has to come from you. You are responsible for getting your message out there. After that, you have no control over how it is taken or the impact it will have. Not everyone is going to get it, not everyone will care. But if you truly love what you do, and if you are honest and pure about how you express yourself, none of that matters. Accept it for all the imperfections and for all the flaws, just like you must accept yourself as you are.
That is where the strength to go on will come from. You have to be comfortable with yourself and your voice and persevere in spite of whether it’s right or wrong. Be open to learning from your mistakes and be aware that it’s the only real way we have to learn.
There are posts here I would love to delete, posts that I didn’t put any heart in or posts that are obviously pandering for attention. But I won’t delete them now or ever. Because there is no shame in learning from them, learning from you guys. I intend to keep this an honest blog start to finish.
More importantly, I have to keep doing it for myself. While I am sincerely grateful to those who have already followed and liked some of my posts, at the end of the day I need to keep writing because there is still so much I have left to say. And I’m still trying to find out how to say it.
In a perfect world, I would be clever enough to just shut up here and write what I have learned into my story. Which someday I hope to be a thing. But I also hope that you kind folks will keep following me as I meander through trying to find my path because I truly feel I have a lot I can share to help everyone. I just don’t know how yet.
An advice column maybe? Who among you would be brave enough to ask the first question?
So new feature to close my posts, The Genre. A complex and ever growing playlist of eclectic tunes, one of which I will share at the end of every post for your daily earworm. If you want you can find the current complete playlist on Google Play under the full name, The Genre.
Tonights Genre: I’ve Seen All Good People by Yes