For some reason, I write every day.
Little bits of this. Jokes. Tag lines. Tweets. Blog entries. Shards of dialogue. Sometimes I know exactly where it’s going. I can feel a cosmic hand guiding my pen and typing fingers. Other times I feel like an illiterate fool with no business owning a word processor. Scribbling on and on in the darkness. Typing in invisible ink. Shapeless. Formless. Wretch-inducing. Directionless drivel. Drivel that is setting society back several steps.
I feel like that now.
Writing this thing that nobody will ever read. The trick is to find gimmicks and magic that will get these things read. Hell if I know what those are. All of writing is a futile exercise in audience wrangling. Hey, listen to me! I have something to communicate! If you make it to the third paragraph you’ll win a free iPad!
While it’s great that there are so many writing platforms for writers today, self-published outlets like blogs only serve to make you painfully aware of the vast cavern of nothingness where a typical audience would sit captively twitching their eyes balls and knowingly nodding in a traditional ‘writer with an audience’ setting. Writing on the web makes you understand exactly where your audience is not. Anywhere near you or your work.
Blogging is lonely. Until some bit of scrap, by some bit of coding error registers a couple dozen reads. Then your heart palpitates. An audience is looming out there somewhere and you attracted them with the power and eloquence of your original thoughts. With only the wiggly worm that is your writing. You spend time finding another worm. But it slides off, leaving you with the hook of your blog, but no bait.
Then something you submitted months ago gets accepted and posted on a magazine with strong readership. Now your audience is like that weird, futuristic cave mosh pit in the second Matrix movie. You are Neo and you know kung-fu. But this cannot be sustained. But it will happen again if you keep going. I’ve seen this first hand. Well, two times. It happens when you least expect it and most doubt it. When you don’t write to the formula of previous success. When you break format. Try something a little off. The thing you are unsure of. The word experiment that you found hilarious for two seconds, before your inner critic skewered it.
The only valid formula for finding an audience is to keep writing. To write yourself out of the lonely basement depths of blogging. To barter in ideas, in narratives, in puns, in the intent to create literature. To swing dance with language. To somersault sentences and not give a damn if they land on their feet. To scrawl messy passages on napkins, on the backs of receipts. To throw down language, to shoot first—before your inner hater can emerge with hands indifferently in pockets to roll eyes, to pssf, under their breath.
The inner hater especially hates it when you keep going. Your inner hater would rather you stop the fanciful pursuit of writing and instead focus on practical, efficient and logical pursuits that have half a chance of progressing your life. Writing is an admission of defeat. No one reads. No one should write. Let’s just settle and look at GIFs, skim headlines generated by algorithms, watch unscripted television. Writing had a good run. But mankind has evolved beyond it. It is excess. It was for Victorians. It has not place in your immaculately styled, influencer curated, product placed lives.
Writing is that pursuit that once was noble, when it was fashionable for pens to wear feathers. We exist in a featherless society. We are the Dacron-filled, teflon-coated products of our collective ego. Writing breaks egos. Writing is the anti-ego. Writing is for those who love to make a show of their failure. If you wish to have some fiber of self-importance and self-worth: Don’t write. I’m sure you weren’t about to anyway.
Well, this was another pointless exercise. I’m trying to start a fire in a vast cave with nothing but soaked wood. Perhaps a definition of madness. Still, I will keep going. For my blind belief that writing and writing on will get me somewhere. I have no evidence to support this outlandish claim. I only have evidence of the inverse.