The moment I publish something and then wait to see if anyone liked it, I am missing the point.
I write because I love to write. I lose myself in it. I stay up way too late, typing and typing and searching for the right word in the right sentence to convey what I am feeling. (Clearly I didn’t search long enough for that one. I confess I like repetition.)
Truth is: I have always loved writing.
When I was a kid I wrote passionately and often. Stories about penguins, my own Hardy boy type adventures, comics, scary stories, sad stories, plays, poems, odes to my deceased pets, long letters to my far away friends… you name it.
I wrote purely for the joy it brought ME. I have kept a journal for more years than I haven’t (and I’m not in the prime of my life anymore). It helped me to follow my thoughts and make sense of me. It also allowed me to do what I love to do: write.
I am relearning to do this.
But the scary thing about posting what I write is that I have been trained by social media to value the “likes” and I transfered that belief into the blogosphere. I started out thinking that likes and views would validate my work.
But if no one reads it and likes it – is there even a point?
Likes are NEVER the point. Or at least they can’t be if you want to enjoy the actual process of writing. It has to be because something in you yearns, needs, delights in writing.
It is a work of joy and creativity that makes you smile, REGARDLESS of whether you get 0 or 700 likes. The fact is that you have something to say, something that keeps you up at night and scratches at the door until you will let it out. If you put your writing out there for all to see, it’s because you have something to share.
What’s your message? What’s your purpose in writing? I promise you it is needed by someone out there. Maybe me.
I need to get past the fear of failure, the fear of not being liked, the fear of being nothing but a lonesome writer, pouring out her soul to the vast empty interweb audience who has much better things to read.
And of course they do. But that doesn’t change the fact that I have something to share, and that I truly believe that someone, somewhere, will be encouraged by what I write. I pray for those who read my posts – they can touch on tough topics. If you are reading them, then we probably have some battles in common. Somehow this unites us.
So I write. I do it because I feel that if I don’t, I am being disobedient and cheating on myself at the same time. I am denying something that has clamored for years to be recognized.
My love of writing.
The fact that claiming that love out loud (aka writing it) scares me is proof to how greatly ingrained my fixed-mentality is. I sooooo fear failing at this thing that I have never allowed myself to even admit that I love it. But the truth is that the only way I will fail is if I FAIL TO DO IT.
So I have challenged myself, as I am getting into this writing habit – the writing lifestyle if you will. I have challenged myself to write for 30 days, daily, and NOT LOOK at my stats.
I need to retrain my brain – it’s NOT about the likes.
Otherwise, for a beginner blogger, it can get very discouraging.
My loving parents and sisters read what I write because I asked them for feedback, and they don’t want me to guilt them I’m sure, if I find out they have been quietly deleting my new post notifications (ahem, yeah, I’m onto you guys)
But beyond them, it may take me awhile to find my community, the one I can contribute to, the one that can use what I can give, and that will inspire me with their gifts.
Yet already I have found amazing people out there, I have read stories that have touched my heart and made me cry. I have shouted loud AMENS and whispered prayers of comfort. I have been moved by beautiful poetry that belongs in books.
This is a wonderful space.
So if you are part of this thoughtful, creative, giving community – thank you.
Thank you for inspiring me, for allowing me to be one of you – even if only to practice.
If writing is where I find myself, then somehow I need to keep doing it until I can become a master at my craft and then use it to bless others.
The likes don’t matter!!! Do it because you love to do it. Write your heart out.
If you do, I believe with all my heart that it will find the right person, and it will bless them. You will be doing what you were meant to do.
Don’t let the lack of views or likes stop you.
It was never about that anyways.