Are we allowing the opinions of others to dictate our joy and self-worth as writers?
Let’s be honest. The past few days weren’t about accomplishing your next writing goal. Perhaps you checked in on your Wattpad story (probably more than once) to see if anyone’s given you the time of day. You may have received a vote or two, and even a comment if you’re really lucky, but overall, the week was pretty unsuccessful for you as a writer.
It’s those little red notification dots that are to blame. They’re addictive, and the gnawing desire to see them drives us to pursue more and more, checking our feeds over and over. We wait for web pages to load with hopeful expectation that our eyes will light up with dots and number-counts, but instead we have nothing, or very little, to signal that others appreciate our work. Our hearts shrivel with disappointment. When the notification spot on our feed is empty, it steals a little more of our joy. A little more of our drive. A little more of our creative energy.
The relentless pursuit of digital dots is insanity!
This kind of fulfillment is impossible to expect. Readers don’t know us. How could they possibly give us the time of day? We’re working on getting ourselves out there, but we haven’t even left the front porch.
Give yourself a break. For real. Sit down on that front-porch lounge-chair you bought new cushions for this spring, and drink a glass of lemonade. Stare at your neighbors for a while. Contemplate the troubles of the world. Then, get writing! After all, YOU have the answers a dark and troubled world is waiting for. They’re counting on you to write the characters they can relate to, and the stories they find hope in. It’s your job, Author, to shift the culture in a positive direction. What a purpose!
Writing, the actual work of writing, is the only thing that will satisfy that gnawing need for accomplishment. It’s not the value others place on our work that matters. It is nice to be acknowledged, no doubt, but the real prize is maintaining our creative momentum all the way to the finish line. Those little red dots are a short-lived high, but a finished work is the medal at the end of the marathon! And that, my friends, is a high worth celebrating.
You did it!
You wrote a novel!
You’ve beaten the odds, and believe me, they weren’t in your favor.
We don’t write to have a collection of little, red, digital-dots. We write because we have a purpose to fulfill. Cling to the truth. What you write matters, regardless of whether you have instant reward or your recognition is yet to come.
Colossians 3:23-24 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.