Writing can be so lonely. You lock yourself away (if you’re lucky) in a private space (if you’re really lucky) and stare at a screen or blank piece of paper for hours. Distractions disrupt the creative flow so you hang a sign on the back of your head telling various family members to do their own washing, cook their own dinner (or order pizza), and generally stay the hell away until you’ve achieved your minimum word count for the day.
You might blog. Maybe you’ve arranged a schedule of posts for once a week, or three times a week and you painstakingly craft each post. Then you sit back and watch your daily hits trickle into the 1s and 2s. They day it hits double figures you nearly keel over, until you realise that those hits were just you trying to correct errors on one of your pages before signing in.
Ileandra and I have been at this for three and a half years and, let me tell you, the first two of those were very lonely indeed. Now, our daily hits regularly reaches double figures and the interaction between ourselves and you in lively and healthy. It’s a wonderful feeling. Suddenly, we’re not alone and talking to ourselves. You talk back to us when you visit our online home and we head out and visit yours. We sit together and chat and slurp from cups of virtual tea (or vodka… I’d prefer vodka). It’s wonderful.
This post is for all of you newer bloggers out there. Those of you still trying to build an audience and find people to talk to.
The loneliness doesn’t last forever.
You might spend months, or even years, talking to yourself out here on the internet, but the key is persistence. And interaction. You have to go out and find people. Talk to them. Visit their blogs. Like their posts. Enter their competitions. Comment. All those things you’re hoping that people will do to you are those things that will bring people to you if you start the ball rolling.
Challenges like this A2Z are an excellent idea. You meet (virtually anyway) so many interesting people. And, if you come at the challenge with the right attitude, it’s likely that you’ll find a bunch of new followers and blogging friends too.
I don’t have thousands upon thousands of followers. Some of my posts don’t get any comments. But there is a very clear and loyal following that I do have, made up of a small cluster of awesome bloggers that I’ve come to know over time. These people are great and I hope that I do for them what they do for me.
Yes… writing and blogging can be lonely. But it doesn’t have to be. Step out there, make a connection. Make friends. Have fun with it.
Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing with our lives anyway?