Updated: Jul 10, 2022
Hello there lovelies! It’s another Pre-Monday afternoon, and as per usual, I sit at my keyboard somewhat stumped for a topic to write about for my blog. As such, I’m going to do my usual (or now semi-usual) move and pull something out of my butt, so today I’m giving you my two cents on shouting into the void….
Hello!?!? Can you hear me now?
Let me first start by saying, I’m nearly positive at this point in my blogging career (if you can even call it that), I have about 2.5 people who have actually read even one of my blog posts in its entirety. One is me (of course), and the other is MAYBE a member of my family. I think it’s quite possible I have that one stray friend or family member who reads about .5% of .5% of my posts, which I completely support and appreciate but suffice it to say, I don’t think anyone is actually listening to anything I have to say. I mean, is this thing even on?
The point is (aside from the malaise use of my online platform to gain sympathy, which is not actually what I’m trying to do, but sometimes seems to be what happens) that I am at this point most likely just shouting into the vast expanse that is the internet. I don’t even really understand how it works, I mean, aside from the creators, and some probably way more intelligent people than me, does anyone understand the jargon about click conversion, gaining users, internet syndication, social media followers, etc. It’s basically a foreign language, and I actually have no idea what I’m doing.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again for any new people in the back, but I literally am just making this sh!t up as I go along. I am researching and trying to follow the advice of people who are smarter than me who say that if you want to market your book, you need a social platform, and to do that, you have to say something. Anything really. It probably does matter what you say, but in order to get people to listen, you have to first say something. I know this may seem cynical, and oversimplified, but if you actually want to be a (future) Best Selling Author–which of course I have explicitly said is my ultimate goal–you have to start somewhere right?
So I have been trying my hardest to keep consistent with these blog posts. I made a promise to my readers (who again right now is mostly me) that I will post at least once a week. Since my reader is me, I don’t want to back out on a promise to me, because the worst person you can let down in this world is yourself. Don’t do it, people, if you’ve promised yourself something, do it, because you are your very best support system and you don’t want to let you down.
Ok, that was a lot of random words but you get my point. I’m writing this blog post because I am going to keep my word to myself. I’ve actually already done that this week. I posted a review of THE CUPCAKE COWBOY (make sure you check that out if you missed it… you can find it here). But… What can I say? I’m an overachiever and I feel like I have taken the easier way out a couple of weeks in a row, so I’m going to give you what you probably don’t even want and that is a couple of pieces of my uninhibited thought vomit.
I am a writer. I want to be an author. In order to get the latter, I have to first do the former. It’s not complete rocket science, right? You have to write to get published, duh… right? But writing isn’t the be-all, end-all. It doesn’t matter how good your book is, you probably aren’t just going to become an overnight sensation, it’s just not practical or likely. Most of us–unless you’re already well established as a public figure for something else–don't have a built-in audience. We have to work to gain readers, so that's where this blog comes in. I hope that one day, my shouting is going to be heard. Other writers out there might find a spark of connection with something I’m shouting about and think “Hey, this girl really gets what I’m going through…” or maybe something like “Yeah, you know it really does feel like that sometimes…”
That’s what this blog is meant to be. My space to share my journey to publication and hopefully a safe space for other writers like me who are struggling with the implications that go along with that. It’s not an easy thing we’ve chosen to do, to become creators. We all struggle with the daily battle with ourselves that we aren’t good enough, and it gets worse on days when you receive multiple rejections (like me today). It’s of course infinitely better when you get words of encouragement (like me yesterday). But this is ultimately how it goes sometimes. You’re putting your work out there, one person LOVES it and the next person doesn’t have anything nice to say about it, this is the nature of creativity. And we, as writers, for some strange reason signed on to do this! What do you think that says about us?
Who knows, but the point of my post was not this long protracted rant about how hard being a writer is, so I’ll attempt to get myself back on track. The point is, you have to first write in order to be a published author. And for most of us, that means writing into the void. At first, nobody is reading or reacting to anything you have to say, but hopefully one day they will, or at least that’s the goal. And if you don’t first write, you can’t be an author, so you just have to do it.
I’m sure even the most ultra-famous, well-known authors felt the same way as you and I do right now. Obviously not all of them, but most of them. I am not sure, but I can imagine that nearly everyone who has ever had their work published has experienced some level of angst. The great authors, like Bronte and Austen, of course, didn’t have to think about how engagements work on TikTok, or how many Twitter followers they had, but they likely struggled with things like ‘is it appropriate for the time that I live in for women to be writing this,’ or ‘will anyone actually want to hear what I have to say because I’m a woman.’
I think what today’s society often forgets or overlooks is that the people who came before us are letting us stand on their shoulders. So don’t waste that gift. They struggled with different things, but struggling is not unique to our generation. The difficulties we face may be altered by technology to make us think they’re unique, but trust me, they aren’t. And instead of fighting against technology, we should be embracing it. We are actually poised to have a greater impact on society if we use technology to our advantage instead of running from it.
Let’s take a modern example. Do you think that people even fifty years ago would ever have considered self-publishing? The answer is no because it would have been too cost-prohibitive and probably nobody would ever see it. Technology has opened up a vast array of new opportunities for writers. Not just in publishing but marketing your own work. So if you want to complain about the fact that writing is hard, and publishing is maybe even harder, I’m completely on board. It is hard. Stupidly hard and sometimes makes me question my sanity. But it’s not impossible and the opportunities created by technologies outweigh a lot of the challenges, so don’t forget that in your rant.
Ok, again, thank you for continuing past my rant, and I will arrive at my point soon enough. My point is, just remember, that while you’re shouting into the void today, tomorrow may be a different story, so don’t forget that. Today, I’m writing this post for just me and my 1.5 other readers, but tomorrow, that may not be the case. It’s quite possible that you, or someone you know, or maybe even me will be the next Bronte or Austen (probably not me, but maybe one of you…)
The point is… Keep shouting.
That’s it, folks, that’s my twisted two cents on shouting into the void.
Keep shouting, and have faith that soon, someone will listen. Because your readers are out there, and one day they’re going to wake up and hear you screaming. That will become infinitely harder if you stop. So keep it up.
Have a good Super Bowl Sunday kiddies! Try not to drink too much, enjoy the half-time show, and if you choose to sleep in tomorrow instead of being responsible, I won’t tell…
-Rose Rayne Rivers
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