It’s not a good feeling, the one you get when you pour your soul into a project (say, into writing a post for your blog, or an article for an online magazine) and no one “appreciates it.” The piece doesn’t attract any more visitors to your website, or to that online magazine you write for.
But let’s give you the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say that someone does visit your blog or reads the magazine article. They spend two precious minutes of their busy time reading your article–the one you spent two—maybe more—agonizing hours writing. And what do they do afterwards?
Okay. They actually do something, but it isn’t what you hoped they’d do.
You wanted them to interact with the material you’ve just written by, say, sharing it with their online friends (by tweeting about it, posting it to their Facebook page, “Pinning” it so that it can reach your Pinterest followers).
At the very least, they should be leaving a comment. Right?
One line from one of your readers would bring a smile to your face. Wouldn’t it?
You think it’s cruel. And I’m with you.
I feel your pain. In the great scheme of things, I think it’s right up there with someone going away for a four-day weekend and leaving Toby, their little Chihuahua, to fend for himself in an empty apartment. It’d be disheartening for Toby, and for those of us who care about animal welfare.
But I digress.
Non-writers don’t realize how hard it’s for you to put your thoughts “out there” for the world to read. Or that, if that’s hard, it’s a lot harder when what you put out there is either ignored or–what’s much worse—not deemed important enough to warrant some form of interaction.
“Those are reasons big enough to make me want to quit,” you tell yourself, and I agree.
Don’t be so drastic. You’re not a quitter. Are you? Just stop for a second.
Take a deep breath.
“And what do I after I stop, take a deep breath, and think?” you say.
I’m sorry to say, but the answer entails ANALYSIS…
And I’m not talking about analyzing your audience (as every other online-marketing “guru” out there wants you to). What you must analyze is yourself; to be more specific, your approach.
Have you ever thought that perhaps you don’t need to pour your soul into every project—into every blog or article you write?
Have you ever thought that maybe—just maybe—you’re overdoing it; giving too much (so to write) e v e r y s i n g l e t i m e that you put fingers to keyboard?
Gets tiring. Doesn’t it?
If you stop to analyze this issue for even just one minute, you should come to the conclusion that it’s about time you held back a little.
Not too much, to be sure; we don’t want to put empty words out into the ether; we want what with write to be of value to the reader.
However, every writing session doesn’t need to feel like a climb to the tip of Mount Everest.
I don’t mean selfishly holding on to the trove of knowledge you carry between your temples either.
I’m talking about keeping in mind that, in today’s world, people are constantly being bombarded with information (usually information they don’t need, want, or care for).
I’m talking about remembering that there’s a chance the 2000-word piece of writing you slaved over last Tuesday night, if published, will only add to the vast amount of “noise” your reader will encounter on any given day.
Is that what you want?
Do you want to be just another car in the train of distractions arriving at your reader’s inbox every single day?
I can guess your answer to that question: a resounding “No.”
You want to be the car at the front of that train; the one pulling it forward. Yes?
So remember, as is the case in the world of screenwriting, sometimes less is more.
“Why?” You ask.
Because of the attention span of today’s online reader.
Most people today don’t appreciate long lectures; those who do, don’t want them to last a half hour—not even ten minutes.
Ours is a generation of busy bees, you see.
So I caution you once again:
Don’t pour your soul into every single piece you write.
Give your readers what they want; not more.
Save your longer work for that biweekly, or (dare I say it?) monthly, post.
Sometimes people check themselves into the emergency room because they think they’re suffering from a serious malady, and they’re found to be suffering from a simple case of dehydration.
It’s the same with online readers. Sometimes all they need is to be put on a drip.