“The hard part of creation is getting past the part where you’re doing it and no one’s paying attention.” – Hank Green
Of all the candidly spoken phrases that could have resonated with me while sitting in my room, working on my widely unsuccessful blog (not the one you’re reading) and listening to a podcast, did it really have to be this one?
To be clear, I don’t care much about who does or doesn’t read my blog posts, who does or doesn’t watch my videos or read my articles or listen to my own podcast.
What frustrates me most, on the lowest of days (and lately that low has not been all that low at all), is when I feel like I have something significant to say, like my words might actually matter to someone, and an essay, a post, anything I have worked very hard on and poured my whole heart and soul into, is met with complete silence.
Or it is rejected by an editor.
Or is completely ignored by people I know, who I thought might at least acknowledge its existence.
I don’t write to be noticed. I don’t create for attention. Attention is overrated. If that was what I hoped to gain from wanting to pursue a career in writing, I would have found long ago that writing nonfiction (blog posts, articles, essays) would never lead to the degree of success and visibility many writers crave.
I write and create completely separate of my own needs and desires. When I write, I have my mind on my potential audience only, and what they need and desire if they ever read my words.
Selfish, conceited, self-absorbed, are not words that describe my reason for wanting to succeed in an area I truly believe I could excel, if allowed the opportunity. An area where I truly believe I could make a difference in other people’s lives.
But I am not excelling. I am not making a difference. I am not being given the opportunity to do so, because I have not gotten past It.
“It” being, of course, the stage of creating in the way you create best where you’re working your tail off day in and day out and no one gives a crap.
No one cares. At all. Ever.
And saying that, I know many people then start to wonder why I keep attempting to plow through It when It is not letting me move to the next stage of life as a writer, the place I actually want to be, hope to be someday, but have yet to reach.
I keep plowing through because there is another side from which I will eventually emerge. There is an end to this awful, lonely place.
There has to be. Because I know I’m not the only one who has been here. I know I’m not the only writer, the only creator who has felt as isolated and invisible as I do right now.
There is a reason I follow entrepreneurs; creators; successful innovators. Not for advice, not because I’m not taking steps toward doing what I should be doing, but as a constant, consistent reminder that what I am doing right now matters, and if it doesn’t, it will eventually.
It’s those who do not give up, who dig their own paths when all others are inaccessible, who say yes I can when the rest of the world says no you can’t, that make it out of It and into Something Amazing. Something They Can Use to Make Someone Else’s Life Better.
I am so over It. I am so ready to leave It behind.
I am confident, I am certain, that by the time I have learned all I need to learn from It, I will have already stepped far beyond the regions of comfort and certainly where only It resides.
I’m still here. I’m still creating. No one sees me, but I’m here. I believe I will continue to learn and improve and that I will find where I fit in the part of creation where you’re doing it and someone is paying attention. And I think that alone is enough.
This is hard. It only seems to get harder the harder I work. But that’s life. I am the best I’ve ever been, not the best anyone has ever been. I still have a lot to learn. I still have a long way to go.
Thank you for reminding me this heartache won’t last forever.
Image courtesy of Nana B Agyei/flickr.com.
Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.