My column is taking a break from its topic this month in lieu of some real talk. Lately, the struggle to feel motivated has been real, and with over seven billion people in the world, I know I can’t be the only one. Life is pretty bananas right now for most people, so it’s natural that creative projects might fall to the wayside due to all the upheavals being thrown our way, but that’s not quite the morale-lowering situation I’m talking about. What I’ve been thinking about lately is, what do you do when no one seems to care?
Say your story’s been published, but no one’s talking about it and it’s not getting reviewed. Maybe your site hasn’t been getting many hits, or your views are way down from what they used to be. You’re tweeting into the void, you’re not making sales, and forget about anyone leaving you comments. They say you shouldn’t create for the sake of getting attention, but when you’re not getting any attention at all, that seriously hinders your desire to create. It sucks. I’m not here to downplay that. It sucks! Before I get to the more hopeful part of this post, let’s take a moment to wallow in our self-pity, because we’re allowed to feel like crap.
Now, pity party aside, what can you do when no one cares about your work that doesn’t include giving up? You could bribe people, or invent some kind of mind control device, but both are huge ethical no-nos and take a lot more money than any of us even have. No, readers, my real advice is very cliche, and probably doesn’t sound as helpful as you might like, but here it is:
Just keep going.
As much as it sucks that no one cares, how can you be 100% positive that absolutely no one cares? How do you know that someone, somewhere, isn’t reading your story and falling in love with your writing? Maybe someone just listened to your podcast and thought, “That is exactly what I needed right now.” If you want to give up because you can’t see any kind of progress or recognition, then you’re only sealing the deal on your own perceived failure. Make yourself your most important audience and let yourself have fun. If you’re satisfied with the work you’ve done, try to let that be enough for now.
Another thing you can do to fight the feeling that no one cares is to show that you, yourself, care! Don’t just like something you see on social media, share it! Leave a comment or a review where you can, even if it’s just a simple message of appreciation or encouragement. Pledge to someone’s Patreon or leave them a tip if you can afford to. If you have the power to let someone know you care, it’s never not a good idea to do just that.
I promise you, if you keep doing your thing and putting yourself out there, someone, someday, is bound to notice.