To all the new people rolling in, I just wanted to take a moment and say:
I am but a humble writer, who about a month ago got this crazy idea to start publishing stuff on the Internet. Other people do it all the time, so why can’t I?
Failure nips at my heels. I steep it in hot water and sip it over the morning paper–to build an immunity I like to claim but more likely so that I don’t get any bright ideas. People have success, tis true. Just other people. Not people like me.
But because I go crazy if I don’t, I continue my sad and lonely practice of writing, and lo and behold some people start noticing. I don’t know who these people are, but they like my posts and they click the follow button and so, I think, maybe there’s something to this. It’s not a nail driven into the wall full of rejection letters, not nearly. (I don’t have the fortitude for that just yet.) “Like” is so much more agreeable-sounding than “rejection.” Maybe people do like me; maybe I’m just kidding myself. Either way, I keep writing, because that’s what I do. My world is chaos without writing.
And then out of nowhere the right people find my stuff and all of a sudden, I have this thing thrust at me that I can’t rightly call a failure.
What is this thing? It’s shiny, and weird, with smooth edges and colorful buttons. It’s comments about things I came up with, way beyond the basic, “Like your post!” It’s engagement, it’s communication, it’s validation. It’s connections with real people, which take my little self-indulgent hobby and give it a purpose. Hey Jordan. There’s people out there who think like you do. With things to say about subjects you find important. And they want to have a conversation.
This thing might be, though I’m not going to get my hopes up because after a month there’s no way I’ve arrived–still have a long way to go to prove myself there–this little shiny new thing might just be a little piece of success.
So thank you, readers, and commenters (especially commenters!) And thank you WordPress for featuring my post “Writing Without A Map: In Which I End Up Exactly Where I’m Supposed to Be” on today’s Freshly Pressed. It’s just the sort of encouragement a fledgling writer needs to keep at it. Because Lord knows writers face enough rejection as it is.