It was in August last year when, I joined this online creative writing platform where we submit short stories every week. Each week has a different theme, and each theme has five prompts – that’s a lot of ideas to work on, and it’s up to the writers to choose one and let it flourish into a story.
Every time I submit my story, I would wait for the weekly winner. I would read the entries of those writers who won before, and I would ask myself, how did I not come up with that idea? Why are they so good? Why do I come up with simple-minded plots?
Sometimes, I also ask myself why I still write on my blog – yes, no matter how long we’ve been blogging, I think we will all still come to the point of blogxistential crisis.
However, just when I am in the midst of this crisis, I’ll always read Hannah Brencher’s excellent advice and I will be back on track again.
Consistently show up and give people the best of your words.
Bloggers can have 10,000 followers, 1,000 or maybe just 1. Even if you have just one follower, that means someone is there waiting for you to show up and hit that publish button (well, bots are an exception, though…). And if they are there, you better start typing the things you wanted to say and the stories you wanted to tell. Give it your best shot!
Stand boldly in what you offer. You are not everyone’s cup of tea.
No matter how good we feel our writing is, it’s definitely not to everyone’s liking. And that’s why there are different genres. There are books or articles for certain people. Everyone has their own preferences. So, keep writing. Keep writing the stories you want to tell and the way you want to share them. Someone, somewhere who’ll love your stories will find their way to you.
The last story I write (at the time of writing this) was for a springtime-themed prompt, a story that involves flowers. I came up with a story in my head that didn’t turn out on writing exactly how I wanted it to be. When I had to choose my story’s genre upon submission, I decided ‘Bedtime Stories’ because it felt like a story you’d read for a naughty child to fall asleep. I then checked out other short stories and found this amazingly woven story about roses and vampires and that analogy of modern life with Shakespear’s Hamlet. I was like shrinking deep into my chair, thinking why I could only write such and why this guy could write compelling ones. Bu then roses and vampires and Hamlet might not be for everyone. And I reminded myself that hey, kids read too. So I decided I’ll still write my stories. Whether it’s for kids or not.
Do what you can.
I sometimes feel disheartened when I see outstanding writers. I do admire their work, and at the same time, I ask myself why they are so good and why I am not. But maybe because, they have been writing for so long and that is why I am still here, trying my best, doing what I can do.
Cheer people up.
It’s not easy to write stories or blog posts and publish them online, especially personal ones. It takes courage to hit that publish button. So try to cheer writers and bloggers up whenever you can. Hitting the like button doesn’t hurt or cost you anything. Commenting on their posts would really be nice and sending them notes of encouragement would really mean a lot. It really does.