Friday, August 7, 2009

Making A Difference?

We all want what we do to matter, don't we? I ask because I need your help. There are a couple of other projects that I put a lot of work into for no compensation and very little to no recognition. One project at least gets me profuse thanks from the staff and director, but is that enough?

I've been writing for an on line news and entertainment source since March. It takes a big chunk of time to research and develop article ideas. You'd think that when you approach people and ask them if they'd like to be interviewed for an article that will give them and their organization/business, etc. free advertising/publicity that they would jump at the chance. It ain't so folks. The last interview I did, it took me three months to talk the guy into it.

Supposedly, if we plug in all available bells and whistles here and there, we make a little bit of money off these endeavors. I have yet to see one penny.

That leads me to pose the question, "Is it really worth it?" Sure my work, name, and face are all over the Internet, but does anyone see it? Does anyone really care?

Judging from the coments I've received on my articles and blogs or rather, the lack thereof, I gotta say no. Total comments received on this blog, another blog which I've written since January (both), and my articles at the other site equal maybe 10 total.

It's months of work, an amazing commitment of time and energy. For nada (except a pat on the back for my volunteer work, which I greatly appreciate, guys.)

"So why do it? Are you crazy?" you might well ask.

The answers to those questions are easy. It's what I do. It's what I love to do. I am a writer. It's one of two things I truly enjoy doing, and that I feel I do very well. Don't ask me what the other thing is, but I once made more money at it than I've ever made writing. I like to delude myself that all these extracirricular activities mean something. The issues they address, the activities they promote are important to me, and I want to share that with others.

But do these "others" or anyone at all, give a rat's butt that I do it? That's what I don't know. Sometimes that makes it very difficult to continue. In fact in the case of the two blogs and the on line literary reporting I've been neglectful for a full month.

Posting here and on my other blog today after 30 days of inactivity has renewed my commitment to what I do. Tomorrow I'll submit a new literary article to my reporting site. I may as well enjoy all this time I have to write, because when I finally get paying work, I won't have as much time for it.

I may well never make a living writing. Oh well. That saddens me, but I'll keep doing it. Because I can. Because even when it seems like times are tough and my effort is irrelevant, writing makes me feel good. Writing is a hopeful thing that never lets me down in the long run. It always gets me where I want to go, even when it takes me the long way.

So yeah. It's worth it just for that.
[This blog post also appears HERE. Check out Mister Write's blog.]


Susan Abney said...

Oh Misterwrite, be patient. Perhaps you were just venting. Most people when they vent are not looking for advice, but in my somewhat advanced years of life experience I feel the need to tell you to be patient. Great things happen from small things, but it takes time. What kind of recognition are you really looking for? If I were you, I would stop trying to feel accomplished by others kudos and draw upon what makes you feel great about what you do. You ask if it is worth it and then you answer your own question that it is. So make it so. Make it worth it to you and don't judge your worth by how many responses you get to your writing on blogs. These are just the ramblings of a middle aged woman caught in the throws of parenthood, the ultimate non recognized sacrificial trade on the planet.

chanel said...

I have asked myself these same questions about the things I love to do: Writing, Teaching and Parenting. All three of them are fun for me, but they are also incredibly difficult and frustrating sometimes. It is during those times that I look to others for recognition (like blog comments, paychecks, thank you notes, or even compliments) to help me through.

I wish I could always have the attitude and commitment to do these things without support (emotional or financial) and sometimes I can, but other times I need support, and I have finally decided that is okay. We live in a community; we help each other. If any of us could do this without the support of others then there wouldn't be any place for volunteers in the first place.

Oh, and I have read your blog before, I found it through a search engine and thought it was cool. Who are you anyway?

DvntWriter said...

Misterwrite, you are not alone. I started a (ok, 3) blogs about a year ago. I thought I actually had an opinion that mattered, and that perhaps my view of things could spark conversations.

Then I ran into the reality of the web: Unless you've been blogging for 3 years, no one notices, and no one cares. Or so it seems.

I've had a respectable amount of page views (as I'm sure you have), and although folks aren't commenting, they are reading.

Take that for something. I don't know what it takes to get folks to comment, if I did I'd have actual advice for you.

And remember, as I try to, that the best praise for writing isn't necessarily the "good job!" we get from friends or strangers, but the fact that we can sit back from the computer, look at what we wrote, and say smugly, "Hell yeah. That's what I was trying to say."