When I started Novelty Revisions, I immediately had to accept that the things I wrote about would rarely, if ever, reach even hundreds of people at a time.
Not because what I had to say wasn’t important, but because I don’t typically blog about current events. I don’t post about news. I don’t publish listicles. Basically, I post articles and essays about what it’s like to be a writer – and many people don’t care about that.
Which is fine – I’m not a writer because I like to be viewed. I’m a writer because I have things to say, whether they’re relevant to everyone or not.
What I can’t tolerate is when anyone, whether on my platforms or someone else’s work, feels the need to leave comments like, “Why are you writing about this? There are more important things going on in the world. Smh.”
I have to restrain myself from replying to these comments quite often. I’ve long since given up that game of trying to make a point in a comments section anywhere online. But it’s been bothering me a lot lately, and I’m very fortunate to have an outlet to express how this affects my writing.
That’s the really cool thing about having a blog – you have the freedom to talk about what’s on your mind as you see fit.
As writers, especially those trying to build up a strong presence online, we face a lot of pressure to write about “what’s important.” Views, shares, comments – those are all just metrics to evaluate whether what we’re saying is resonating with anyone out there on the web. What we really want is to at least feel like we’re making some kind of difference, contributing to some kind of discussion.
What both writers and readers forget is that everyone may be aware of what is important right now – but not everyone has the exact same priorities. For example, diversity is a thing everyone’s talking about right now. I firmly believe it’s very important that it is addressed. But I don’t talk about it in everything I post about or share only articles about that on Twitter. Yes, in my world, it is important. But as a writer, it is simply not a priority on my list of things I’m writing about right now.
That doesn’t mean that what I AM writing about is any less important. It doesn’t mean what YOU’RE writing about doesn’t matter. It just means that someone out there is looking for someone talking about diversity, and right now, you, I, we’re just not filling that need for that particular person.
Why that person feels the need to point out that you aren’t meeting their demands is honestly beyond me. But you shouldn’t take one person’s criticism to mean you need to address that topic, right here, right now. You are never going to be able to satisfy everyone all at once. “There are more important things” really just means “this person is writing about something I don’t care about, but I’m going to generalize my frustrations because this is the internet and I can do what I want.”
Of course it’s fairly easy to ignore these comments and keep doing what you’re doing. But after awhile, this stuff can start to get to you. You start to wonder if you should write about “the more important things.”
It’s my opinion that you should always, first and foremost, write about what is important to you. Writing is important enough in my life that I felt it necessary to start a blog about it, even though that’s what everyone else seemed to do before me. Writing isn’t the only thing that’s important to me. But I know there are other people out there who are going to write about those things, even when I don’t. A writer is not responsible for addressing every single problem in the world. They’re just one person. They only have so many experiences to draw inspiration from. And readers cannot expect every single writer to write what “they” want someone to write about.
I’m sure there are many more important things than writing about writing. But this is important to me, and those who regularly read this blog. In the grand scheme of things, that’s really all that matters – that I am happy with what I am doing, and so are those following along.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.