Oh the Excitement! Or, Not.
Being a writer is a wonderful and terrifying thing. You get to put your thoughts down on paper; pour over them for hours, or even days, looking for errors; then send them out into the world in hopes that people like them enough to pay money to read them.
Anxiously you wait for feedback, good or bad, so that you can measure your talents and thoughts against popular opinion. You watch as the first copy of your book gets sold, knowing it’s probably your mom or a family member, but you don’t care. The days, then weeks, then months go by and…nothing.
You’ve sold a few copies of your self-published book, but no one has bothered to leave any feedback. You have hounded friends and family via every social media outlet that you have access too, begging them to buy your book and leave some reviews, but still nothing.
Then you start worrying. “It’s not good.” “They hate it and are too scared to tell me.” “My writing sucks!” All of those wonderful self-doubts that pool into your brain, usually at 3 am when you want to be sleeping.
So what do you do? Nothing. There is nothing to do. You can’t make people buy things or review your stuff. But what you CAN do is keep writing. Keep on submitting your work. Keep updating your blog. Eventually someone, somewhere will notice. Maybe. Or not.
But lets face it, did you start writing for the money? The fame? The notariety? I hope not. If you are like me, you started writing because you enjoyed it. You started writing as an outlet for what was always getting trapped inside your head. You started writing as a way to express yourself. So why stop? Because other people aren’t responding? So what?
Writing is something that means different things to different people, but we all started somewhere. We all have had moments where we poured our souls into a work, only to have it go nowhere or be rejected. But does that mean we should stop? Absolutely not! We don’t write for others, we write for ourselves and hope that our voice resonates with others.
If it doesn’t, who cares? Keep writing your words, keep thinking your thoughts. You will only improve with time. And if it only stays forever as a hobby, then what’s wrong with that? You still have something that is yours. Be proud of your work, no matter what it is, even if other people don’t seem to respond.
In the end your best work will come when you forget that there are other people and just write for yourself. Write what makes you happy. Write about what you know. Because it is really only for you.