Wow, thank you for the shout out, though I don’t feel as if I have earned it (yet!)
I really appreciate you being so candid about this, because let’s be honest, almost all of us feel the same way. I think as writers we write for many reasons- to develop our craft, to vent on important issues, because we feel called to it or because it’s cathartic…but, we also write because there is nothing more satisfying to the human soul than being seen and feeling heard.
I’m the blog manager for a mental health organization called Where I Stand, and we have a small (but loyal) following. One of my pieces had over 16,000 shares and I was not only surprised, but over the moon about the response. It was a lot for little ol’ me. I’ve always had a dream to write but never thought it was possible to get my name out there.
I’ve been on Medium for less than a week but any type of response to my writing makes me ecstatic. I send my stories to other freelance websites and have been published on a few, and it is super gratifying. I think we’d all be lying if we denied that the attention and recognition isn’t addicting!
On the other hand, I also find the most joy when the pieces I write (that gain attention) are because of the content and quality: these pieces are the most important to me because I’m convinced that they reach readers in a more profound way than headline grabbers do. (Although, there is absolutely nothing wrong with writing a captivating headline or swearing a few times in the title to grab reader’s interest, so that they will then be able to read your quality piece) After all, if no one reads it, how can it be shared? We have one chance to catch people’s eyes, so it’s a little silly to waste it.
I’ve tried to get some of my pieces published on more high traffic websites, however they almost always look for shorter, more succinct articles that may not be as emotionally charged as the ones I like to write. For me, it’s definitely a balance between staying true to myself and the integrity of my writing, while still managing to be a bit saavy in terms of marketing.
Thank you again!!!