When I first started blogging, I knew I wanted to focus on documenting my life as a writer.
Over time, I realized my friends, family, and classmates really didn’t care that much about writing — at least not the way I talked about it.
For those first three or four years, I had I’d say about 10 occasional readers. Almost all of them were people I didn’t know. But they were people who thought my topic — writing about writing — was interesting.
Even though my audience was small, and there were times it felt like no one cared about what I was doing, I kept doing it anyway. I liked writing about my passion. And slowly, over time, more people who also liked my passion found and started reading my blog.
It would have been very easy to give up early on in my blogging journey. I say that because many people do. They’re so worried about their small audiences and whether or not what they’re saying or talking about is “interesting” to the people around them that they just quit.
I wish they didn’t give up so easily. But there’s this mindset that if you aren’t getting thousands of readers a day on your blog, or your friends aren’t constantly praising you for your hard work, you’re doing something wrong.
You might not be writing for the audience you want or expect.
But it’s very possible that you just haven’t found your true readership yet.
I started blogging in January 2009. It took until March 2015 for my blog to start growing, and for a loyal audience to start following my posts.
If I’d worried about being “interesting,” you wouldn’t be reading this post in September 2017 (or whenever it is you’re stumbling upon this — hi, hello, how’s it going?!).
I don’t think it’s possible to write something that doesn’t appeal to any audience.
Is it sometimes difficult to break into a small, specific niche? Absolutely. Look at how long it took me.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
You don’t need someone else to tell you if your story, blog post, or whatever, is interesting. Not yet. Not if you haven’t finished writing it yet … or worse: you haven’t even started.
I understand that many people worry they’re wasting their time if they end up writing something that “isn’t marketable.”
But this is one of those things that stops many writers from ever getting anything written. And it really shouldn’t. You can’t worry about an audience you don’t have if you aren’t writing for readers you want.
If you’re so worried about spending time on a project you aren’t sure will succeed that you can’t actually get anything done, honestly, you need a bit of a reality check.
A large percentage of the things you write will never go viral, get clicks, or even get published.
If you wait until you find the “most interesting” things to write about, you’re going to spend your whole life waiting to write, instead of actually writing things that someone, somewhere, will want to read.
Part of being a writer is practicing. Giving ideas a chance, trying them out, and seeing what works, as well as what does not work.
You need to get out of the mindset that writing is all about writing only what other people want to read. Sometimes, yes, that’s how it works. But for people who don’t already have a stable following, sometimes you have to start with writing what YOU think is interesting, and finding the audience who shares your specific interest and really enjoys reading what you have to say.
Your writing may not be interesting to your friends or family or local community.
That does not mean someone out there won’t enjoy it.
For now, focus on writing, building up your backlog of content, getting more comfortable writing in your own style, and having an absolute BLAST writing about your passion.
There is no quick or easy way into writing for a large audience. Write first. Find your audience second.
You’re not wasting your time creating something you enjoy. Generally, we just call that writing.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.
47 thoughts on “What If You Write Something No One Else Is Interested In Reading?”
I think, if you write for yourself, that is enough…
It’s a great starting point. If you aren’t sure who you want your audience to be or what you want to use as a platform, writing anyway, even if it’s only for you, still counts as progress! :)
I’m glad you stuck with it…:)
Me too! :)
This post is exactly what I needed to read right now! I’m feeling a bit weary not having my exact audience in mind but this post has eased my worries a lil bit. Thank you!
I’m so glad you found this post, then! :) I had no idea who I was writing for at first. You don’t have to have it all figured out to start writing. Just start. :)
So true, when I decided to show the world what I’ve hiding for so long I had cold feet, but I continued anyway. I remember when you Meg told me not to stop. Thank you so much. Now I’m so proud of my little achievements and how many messages I get daily from people.
YES YES YES!! Keep going! Persistence really does pay off. :)
seriously!!! i was thinking exactly the same :(
Why the sad face?! :( As long as you’re writing what interests you, you’ll find your people!
Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
Check out this great post from Meg Dowell’s Novelty Revisions blog on what happens if you write something no one else is interested in.
It seems almost so appropriate to say that as writers we are forever questioning our own capabilities, as well as being our own worst judges in relation towards our work.
If writing for an audience is what someone desires then needless to say they may possibly writing for the wrong reasons. And might I suggest seeking a phone call with most treasured relative or friend and having them take the time to listen to their troubles. It would be most beneficial as opposed to writing for the appreciation of others.
Writers should write to write. Audiences grow.
The writer is the dictator and the audience is the submissive. Writers will write what the audience wants to read. And the audience will read because that’s exactly what they want. The audience doesn’t know what they want until the writer begins to write. Hence, growing the audience, otherwise they’re just a visitor.
Great blog, Meg Dowell.
This is so well-written that I read it 3 times … :) Thank you so much for your words, they add so much to this post. Thanks for being a part of the discussion!
I am glad to be part of it. What you write is worth the discussion.
:) :) <3
Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog.
“I don’t think it’s possible to write something that doesn’t appeal to any audience.”
Hold my beer. (heh)
Thank you for writing this, I’d almost given up several times since starting the blog. It needs more work but I enjoy the subjects written about.
I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying the topics you are writing about. That makes the journey so much more worthwhile, for sure!
It most certainly does Meg.
Thank you for writing this! I’d almost given up several times since starting the blog. I enjoy the subjects I write about and seeing it develop, but more work is needed on it. Lack of time is a big factor. I work full-time and tend to write mostly at the weekends.This needs to be managed better I know.
The ‘I took me harp to a party, and nobody asked me to play’ scenario is a sad one. Blogging can be more like busking, though, You go out on your street corner and play, and hordes pass without noticing — but gradually more and more pause to listen.
It’s definitely a waiting game – but a worthwhile one! Love that analogy so much.
Meg, thanks for writing this encouraging post. I found your post via Mr. Ape’s blog (the big ape with heart). 😊
Thanks for stopping by! (And sorry I’m just now chiming in, haha ..). I’m so glad this post was able to provide some encouragement for you.
Reblogged this on willmacmillanjones.
What is a lovely encouraging post. One early statement struck me about family and friends often aren’t interested in what you are writing. And you are right, it’s not that they don’t love you or care about you, it think it might be because they know you they find it hard to step and see you as a writer. It does feel hard initially until you realise they need to look at you as someone different to the person they know and love. But you are certainly not alone in that.
Absolutely – thanks so much for leaving this comment! I’m glad this post was able to encourage and resonate with you.
You are so right. Write what you know and feel, and those who are interested will follow. My friends and family follow me on Facebook. My blog posts go there, too. Often I’ll have nearly a hundred views and also reblogs on a post, yet only two or three on Facebook. Like you, I follow my heart and my head. I write what I know I need to write. Thank you for a great post.
Same. I’ve given up on reaching friends through FB – it’s just not worth the energy I could be putting into making the blog itself better, you know? :)
I do know! 🙂
Your post reminds me of advice I’ve seen for fiction writers — figure out your market before you publish, as in age, sex, interests, etc. I’ve always been puzzled by this. My “market” = people who buy my books, but in most cases I have no idea who they are. Maybe it’s possible to target a market if you write a specific slice of genre fiction, but since my books share qualities of several genres and don’t belong to any of them, I can’t do that. As for blogging, my experience seems to have been rather like yours. Some of my early posts have NO views, never mind ‘likes’ or comments. Now I seem to have a number of regular readers. Thanks for the encouragement.
What do you write about (fiction)? :)
My novels are literary supernatural/psychological hybrids. On my blog, I write about what I’m writing, reading, or doing in my garden, plus the occasional rant.
That’s so awesome! Yeah, I have no idea which genre my work-in-progress fits into but I’m more concerned with writing the darn thing first before I try figuring that out. haha!
That’s true. Creating the work is the thing. Everything else — categorizing, “branding,” marketing — is peripheral.
Great post! As someone who has only been blogging for three months, and wondering if anyone even cares about my posts, this is some much needed advice 😊. Thank you,
I care!! :) Three months is SO GREAT!! KEEP GOING!
Reblogged this on sharonmadonna.
I like your attitude and your perseverance. When I started my blog site, I was following the advice to introduce myself as a new author and I hoped to gain a following. It has been a year and I have 78 WordPress followers and 232 subscribers. It is not a huge following but I’m satisfied for my level of writing.
I selected a theme ‘Getting to Know Chuck Jackson’ . I center my blogs on my experiences and the issues that are important to me. When I started reblogging I found my traffic increased. And yes, I also promote my books.
The one issue I find annoying as I follow other writers and bloggers are the ones with big egos. The ones that are the authority and if you don’t follower their advice, you are a failure. Then you have the ones who feel their writing is so superior, they respond to your comments with curtness if they respond at all.
Fortunately, those are few and I usually don’t follow them for long. I have found the community at WordPress bloggers and writers to be open, helpful and supportive. Therefore, your good advice of continue to write and don’t get discouraged is one I follow and concur. Thank you for sharing.
You’re so welcome. I like to say be selective about writing advice. It’s hard when “experts” say their way is the only way, because that’s just not always the case. You have to do what you have to do – and as long as that works for YOU, you’re doing it right.