I wasn’t sure what to title this half-rant, so I just threw up a question that I’ve had to ask probably a little too often.
Just the other day, a friend of mine decided to create a blog, and post a link to it on Facebook. Within a few hours, a bunch of people liked it, and commented on it, praising her writing and how personal it was.
She is an amazing writer, and I really just ought to be happy for her. Still, I can’t help but be just a little bit jealous. Okay, maybe really jealous. Not really for the attention – if I had wanted attention that badly, I probably would’ve decided to forgo anonymity and push this thing to all the social networks I wanted – but rather, for the simple fact that her friends had taken the time to read and comment (even critique) her work.
I’ve…not really had that kind of success. With my friends, at least.
I’m always touched when total strangers happen upon my writing here, and take the time to read through my pieces. I don’t usually know when that happens, courtesy of WordPress’s odd analytics (that I don’t check anyway), but every so often, I’m notified that someone has liked or commented on a piece – and it’s always gratifying to know that at some point, my work resonates with someone else. (I’d probably reach out to some of those people, except I’m still ridiculously internet shy. I’ll eventually get there.)
But most of the time, when I send a piece of writing to my friends, it gets ignored. I know they are busy people, but at the same time, I usually send my writing to them because they told me they wanted to read it, or they offered to comment on it.
I’ve had, on more than one occasion, had to pester people for months before they finally decided to take a look at the story I sent them.
If I had just sent a random story to a friend, a ‘hey here’s something I wrote check it out if you have the time?’ kind of deal, then I probably wouldn’t be bothered so much. However, most of the time, my friends had decided to tell me that they wished to read / comment upon my writing, before neglecting it for weeks or months at a time. I understand that they have no real obligation to read anything, but I can’t help but get a little angry.
It feels like a respect issue to me, more than anything else. Sure, every writer knows how disheartening it is to receive heavy criticism for their work, but perhaps work that is forgotten or ignored is even more disheartening.
Especially so in my case, because I usually don’t write for the sake of selling books. I write for myself (in the case of this blog), I write for my friends (in the form of hopefully-entertaining stories). But what’s the point of writing stories for my friends if they don’t even read them? …sometimes, that thought goes through my head. Or other, similarly ugly thoughts.
And then I dump all of my thoughts, ugly or not, here. Where, unless they tried really hard, or stumbled upon it by accident, my friends can’t even read those thoughts.
Of course, it doesn’t happen all the time. Some of my friends read everything I send them, and give me inspiration to keep going. Maybe that’s why I’m still writing. And it’s possible that I’m blowing a tiny issue out of proportion. No, it’s almost certain that I’m doing that. It’s just the misfortune that the people who tend to forget about the stories I send them are the people I consider my closest friends.
I’ve been told that doing business with friends is difficult, because you take each other for granted, because you will not respect each other professionally as much as if you were just acquaintances. Maybe this is a similar effect. I’m not going to stop being friends with any of these people because they don’t read my stories. I’ll just get a little annoyed about it, that’s all.
So…perhaps that is why I am jealous. The person who posted her blog to Facebook was able to so easily get feedback from the people she cared about, while that has been so difficult for me.