the end is near
and so I face
the final curtain – Frank Sinatra
People like me don’t get discovered – Will Forte
A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed for a writing gig where I would have been ghostwriting for other people. Aside from some concerns that I wouldn’t be ghostwriting, but would just be writing someone else’s papers, I had some misgivings about the job. As the interview progressed, the interview said, in effect, “It seems like more of what you’re looking for is a platform.” To be honest, he’s right.
I, like many people, would like a place where my voice can be heard. I would also like to help others have their voices be heard. As I’ve expressed at different points, one of the difficulties for me is looking around the media that I’d like to work in and seeing numerous creators who seem to have taken off overnight (or at least more quickly than me), and I continue to wonder what the “secret” is or why certain people get success more quickly than others, why other people make it look “easy.”
The thing is, it isn’t easy. None of this is. No matter how quickly someone can grow a following, everyone starts with zero followers. Everyone needs to work to grow their audience. Even people who seem to have quick success have put in large amounts of time before their quick ascent. There is some luck involved, probably more than a lot of people are willing to admit; just think about how no one really has a formula for creating the perfect viral content. However, there is a lot of hard work required for doing anything in this field.
I realized right around the time I started this project that I didn’t actually know what hard work meant. In three years, I’d written less than 30 posts on this blog, and wondered why more people weren’t reading. I set up a schedule of one post every two weeks, and wondered why people weren’t reading. I wrote content about things I cared about, and wondered why more people weren’t reading. Reality hit home pretty quickly once I took a look at what I was actually doing.
The things is, people don’t get “discovered” that often. The idea of someone just happening upon your work at an early stage and having numbers explode happens so rarely as to be an anomaly, and yet there is this sense that, if it can happen to one person, it can happen to me. The story of content creation, however, is more often that of an overnight success ten years in the making.
So this project was started 1) because I wanted some writing samples, but 2) because I wanted to see what “working hard” actually meant. In the process, I hoped to be creative and whatnot, and to write what I thought to be meaningful posts about things I cared about. The project was initially started without an end date in mind, but after watching a video from a creator about goals, I decided to put an end date on. As discussed yesterday, I’ve decided to move that end date up to today.
I’ve realized that the rules I created for myself were forcing me to work hard, but that creation was moving towards becoming a chore. This isn’t to say that rougher periods of doing something are “bad;” rather, it served as an indicator to me about what was valuable in my writing, and what wasn’t. I also started to think about the purpose of this space, and what this would look like moving forward.
At this point, this blog is my writing space. It’s where I post about things important to me, things about myself, etc. Moving forward in the short term, this will continue to be my personal space online, but I think that trying to do more in writing is going to require me to step outside of this space and into new things. Some of this is going to require some adjustments to my writing style and some time to think about what I’m writing and who I’m writing for, a factor which has played into the decision to stop posting daily here. Additionally, looking further into the future, there could be a chance that I would start a new project that would push the focus off of me and onto more of the advocacy type work that I’d like to be doing.
A lot of what happens moving forward is contingent on the quality of what I’ve written, and from what I’ve seen with this project, the quality of my writing is greatly improved when I have time to edit. This was abundantly clear earlier this week, and at several different points in the last two months. The hope is that moving away from daily at this point will allow me the opportunity to work on that, especially with having a new job taking up more of my time.
Whether I will return to daily content has yet to be seen, though I think I’d be surprised if daily happened here again (at least with a word count requirement). The goal now will be to continue looking around for opportunities to write and grow, and to submit in different places. There will still be regular content here, though: I will still be posting every Saturday for the Fitness Challenge 2k17, I’ll still be posting journal style things, and I’m sure other content will emerge.
Most importantly, the focus now is on getting better. I have a tremendous desire to get better at writing, because I believe that my future will be pretty heavily centered on writing. I’m sure there will be plenty of times where I will be dissatisfied with the quality of my work (to put it lightly), but my interest in and desire to get better continues to drive my pursuit of this field. As of this moment, I don’t know what the end goal of “better” is, but I will continue to work to find what that is.
Thanks for reading; I’ll see you next time.