Sometimes being a writer is a wonderful thing. We get to entertain people. We can make them laugh, cry, feel. We can give them nightmares or inspire them to action. We get to tell stories all day. Being a writer gives one a unique way of looking at the world, and we notice things others are bound to miss.
These are all great things.
But sometimes writing sucks.
Last weekend was one of them.
As many of you know, I recently started blogging my book. I knew going in that this could be a very bad idea.
Writers are terribly needy creatures, you see. In order to get better at our craft, we must have the tough critiques, but when all is said and done, we just want you to like our work. Love it, even.
To take this very personal thing and put it on a blog which sometimes gets comments and readers and sometimes doesn’t was a dangerous move on my part.
I did it anyway.
I told myself I expected nothing. No responses, no increase in readership, and no donations. “If I make two dollars, that will be more than I’ve ever made from my fiction,” I thought. I steeled myself against the possible lack of response.
It didn’t come.
My launch was fabulous. I set an all-time record for comments (which writers who actually have popular blogs would laugh at). I got some very generous donations. And my readership numbers were at an all-time high again. I was elated. It was like Christmas and my birthday all at once, only better.
The second week wasn’t quite as good, but it was still strong.
Disaster didn’t strike until the third week.
By the middle of that day, I had one comment. (Thank god for friends.) I had no donations. My numbers were very low.
I shrugged it off. “It will get better,” I told myself. Well, it didn’t.
There are times I am strong in the face of disappointment. This wasn’t one of those times. I was devastated. I seriously considered deleting my entire blog, and not only my blog–all of my social media accounts as well. I contacted published authors I know and asked them if this whole social media platform thing was really necessary, because it was breaking my heart. And this was not the first time blogging has made me feel that way.
All of the writers I contacted had great things to say, but one in particular resonated with me, and I hope she won’t mind me sharing some of her message.
“I do think it’s a great way to get your name out there and engage with others. I have met some great people, such as yourself! I don’t want to look at blogging or Facebook or any of these sites as just a means of making a book sale. I genuinely like getting to know people, and engaging with them on Facebook. If someone gets to know me and decides they want to read my book, that’s something for me to be grateful for.”
She’s right of course, and I definitely didn’t get into this thinking it was going to make money or sell books.
But what she said struck me in a profound way, because this woman I respect and admire and think of as a friend? I met her through blogging. Most of the other writers I’d contacted in my distress? I knew them from blogging, too.
The most supportive, wonderful people in my life aren’t necessarily the people I went to elementary school or college with. A lot of them I’ve met over the Internet, and whether they reached out to me or I reached out to them, our connection is very strong and very real.
I’m not saying it won’t bother me if this Friday tanks, too. I’m not saying I’ll never feel wounded or rejected through this blog or writing in general again.
But I hope I’ll remember my friend’s words the next time things get tough.
I have met some great people. People like you.
Thanks for being here. Be it one or two or twenty, I appreciate every visit and every comment more than you’ll ever know.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s purpose is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!