I knew going in that this would not be easy. For one thing, writing itself is never easy, as anyone who is serious about writing knows. For another, writing unrequitedly can be a misery.

It has been nearly two months since I began this blog, and I told myself at the start that I would be writing for my own pleasure, which it isn’t always, and that I should not expect too much from others. Pretty quickly, I learned that I could not steer friends and acquaintances my way since they nearly all fell silent after visiting, and some didn’t even visit.

Last week I received two way-to-go comments in my spam folder, and I was swooning. How could these be spam, I wondered. They seemed so obviously addressed to the particular me, and I actually responded to one of them. This morning, I came here to write and discovered 20 comments in my spam folder, each a variation on the ones I just described. I can’t figure out the angle since there were no apparent solicitations, but I have to say that I feel a little hoodwinked and more than a little ashamed of my innocence.

Also, there were not many but at least more visitors last week than there had been previously, and I found myself feeling somehow obliged to be better than my best self. Now that I had some followers, it went on in me, I would need to become brilliant if I wanted to attract loyalty.

The past few days, visiting fell to zero and along with it my confidence. By last night I had written several different posts, none of them especially good, and these ended up in the trash. So this is what I have come to: When I think I am writing for others, however imagined or however I imagine them, I lose myself and my capacity to write authentically. It is this authenticity I believe, or want to believe, that will draw others to my work.


2 thoughts on “Taking stock

  1. After years of not attracting anything near the numbers I thought I would get for my “brilliant” observations, my advice to you is to simply write what you enjoy writing…publish and be damned!

    I’ve also discovered that linking my WP blog to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn has helped increase my visitor numbers. Writing about different topics, experimenting with tags and categories as well as using the suggested underlined links from the WP range have also helped to get a little attention. The key is to regularly publish, even if it is only one a week, once a fortnight or once a month…make it the same day every time or the same interval of time lapsing.

    I’ve had nearly 200 spam messages since I started publishing regularly on my Willow blog. Don’t know why these iditots target a site that deals with kid’s books, but there it is. When I had my own website, where I published children’s short stories, I was constantly targeted by spammers wanting to sell viagra and sex toys. Some sick people out there…

    Don’t give up!

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