Sometimes I feel like I’m shouting into an endless void. That void is called The Internet.
I publish my work, I try to participate in the online writing community, I use the appropriate tags, I try to be supportive and positive, but it seems like most days, what I put out there ends up in the black hole that is the internet. Never to be seen again.
It feels pretty bad.
As someone who’s hoping to make a living as a writer at some point, it’s important that people read my stuff. There needs to be some sliver of an audience, or what’s the point?
But it’s a process. Not every single thing you put out into the digital landscape is going to get noticed because everyone else is trying to do the same thing. There’s so much content, so many tweets, Instagram photos, etc., being put onto the internet every single day, getting lost in the shuffle is not hard. Even if you feel like it’s just you, it’s not.
These are some things I do when I feel like I’m just shouting into the void:
Step Away From the Computer/Tablet/Phone
Of course, this is easier said than done sometimes. But give it a try. Unplug from the internet for a while. Go off and do something that makes you feel good. Go for a run, bake a cake, play a video game, write a story. The possibilities are endless.
Do something where the end product is not to share it on any social media.
Do it for you.
Try your best not to think about the online world for even a short period of time. Take a break from seeing all the perfectly curated content, take a break from comparing yourself to all the seemingly more popular people.
Likes are just digital blips, but that cake you just made is going to be delicious.
Create Your Passion
It’s easy to fall into the trap of simply creating what’s popular, copying those posts that get a lot of likes. But creating more of the same just adds to the mountains of content that’s already out there.
Do you want to write a story about a cat that solves crimes? Do it! Do you want to create a photo gallery of the local birds in your area? Do it!
If you create something that you truly care about, your passion will shine through. Maybe it won’t get as much attention as what’s currently trendy, but at least you’ll be following your own path.
You can’t go wrong doing what makes your soul glow.
Keep Participating and Supporting
Feeling ignored is a horrible way to feel, but sometimes the only thing you can do is keep on keeping on. Keep commenting on things you like, share your friends’ work, like the thing. Share your work too.
Taking yourself out of the online community is only going to lead to you being out of the community. If you keep being a supportive and positive presence online, maybe someone will turn around and support you back.
I believe the positivity you put out into the world will come back to you. So keep on smiling.
Find Your Pack
I’ve had more luck getting noticed when I’m in a niche group on social media. By joining a couple of writing groups on Facebook, it’s allowed me to connect with people who are interested in the same things I am. I offer advice and get advice in return.
In a strange turn of events, I’ve gotten more writing support from the Facebook groups than from the #WritingCommunity on Twitter or from anyone on Instagram.
But if you can find a small(ish) group of people on the internet — it doesn’t have to be Facebook — where you can make connections (and maybe even friends) and help each other, it makes the other silent parts of the internet seem a little less… voidy.
The internet can be a weird mysterious place but don’t feel discouraged if your work is going unnoticed. You’re not alone in feeling this way. I’m sure the internet feels like a void for most people.
Keep creating! Keep doing your thing! The amount of likes/claps/retweets/hearts you get doesn’t mean your work is not amazing and awesome. The world needs you and your passions.