My husband feels I am too negative when I talk about my writing. The same familiar look comes across his face, a tight, disapproving look.
Maybe it's because the only time I talk in length about my writing is when I'm feeling despondent, and I do indeed say those words, I fail, or some variant such as:
I stink at...
I don't understand...
But as I point out to him, I am usually talking about how I market my own writing. I know I am a capable writer, and I used to naively think that if I wrote it, they would come...from somewhere. Maybe that makes me a lunatic, because the numbers aren't kind.
When I first started this blog, I had the Goggle follow button on my home page. It very slowly grew until I had 33 followers at which point it stuck and never moved again. It became a badge of dishonor. I had to remove it.
And right now I'm agonizing over deleting my Facebook page, because it, too, atrophied at 29 followers - 29 followers - and my past several posts, sharing only select pieces from here, have gotten zero likes. Even my own relatives have not thrown me a like bone now and then while busily liking others' pages. Nor should they if they do not like my stories.
I fail. I fail. Numbers don't lie.
I love to write. I believe I am a writer, and there again I must plead insanity in the face of miserable stats four years in the running.
So why do I fail? Oh, I wish I knew why I sink where others float and glide! I wish I knew. I, wanting to be a writer since elementary school, have done a miserable job despite my constancy. Others, who never desired it until adulthood as a hobby, have excelled.
Do people dislike my style? Is it because I have recently turned readers off with my Catholic perspective? Both unalterable, I'm afraid. Is it because I don't have that "clear brand" of which marketing folks speak? Is it because I neither love, have an affinity for, nor understand how to use social media? Heaven help me, I don't know what I'm doing wrong (except when I don't post). My growth has been completely organic, and organic is not always healthy. And there, too: is it because I refuse to invest monetarily in my dreams? Other writers have advised me to advertise on Facebook or pay for blog design, but I can't quite get over the hurdle of spending money on this blog that seems so unlikely to make returns on the investment, except perhaps for my silly ego and creative happiness.
Maybe I just don't have that community of fellow writers to uplift me. All the writers I admire, the few that I regularly read, already have their own groups, and I have this forlorn feeling that I am too late to win myself a position in their circle.
Drat, but if this depression wasn't coming, sitting by the way and sharpening its teeth. I was doing so well for some time. For weeks I only got on my blog to write or edit. I stayed off my personal email except 2-3 times per week. I would sometimes leave Facebook to its own devices for a good long time. And I was happier. I knew I wasn't writing for much, but I persevered. And I loved that I avoided the Internet on many days; I felt mentally more robust that way.
But it builds, you know, with the evidence. My blog was growing through last December, and then I took a kind of holiday in January, and it plummeted. Painfully, it has begun to rise again, but for four years of effort, I have truly embarrassing results. I would share them with no one, except my Dad.
As a miserable person might, I am asking you - if you have been one of my loyal readers - to tell me why you think I have failed here or on my blog's Facebook page. I am looking for brutal honesty. Don't fear that you'll make me cry. I have already cried bitterly - just today on the phone with my husband, I'm afraid - simply wondering what secret ingredient I lack so profoundly that many others have in abundance. I would rather know if my readers see something critical that I do not.
I don't intend to delete this blog. You may have thought that I was planning to put myself out of this cyclical misery in that way. No. Writing for a few is far better in my estimation than writing for nobody but oneself out of fear of rejection.
So I persevere. But I do ask you to kindly share your insights and your opinions on what it is that I need to do or change, what I seem incapable of discovering for myself. I'm a selfish girl for thrusting this on you, I guess, but I would really appreciate it.