Who are all the Faceless People?

At the time I’m writing this I have 6.5K followers. I publish stories on Medium daily. I’m a top writer in so many categories they don’t all fit on my profile page.

But this isn’t a story about boosting myself.

This is a story of pondering how I got here. Followers just add up and pile up but who are they? Are they staring new accounts and never come back online again? Do they have accounts and never see my work in their feed? Are they addicted to hitting follow for every writer they see?

Are all the faceless people paid members here to read?

If 6.5K people were truly reading my work I would be a superstar, but I’m not.

I don’t feel popular nor am I a genius or one of the cool kids, but I believe I’m creative and consistent. I often write stories I feel are worth the read, but there are times when I write rubbish as well.

Six weeks ago I began the publication, Hopes and Dreams for Our Future. My goal for this publication is to create a village of storytellers who write from their hearts, share their inspiration, and who are motivated toward improving their writing craft while providing others with the opportunity to learn through their experiences. We have created a community of creative and talent writers and we continue to add more. We’re steadily growing.

We currently have just over 300 followers.

I’ve been publishing my stories in Hopes and Dreams for Our Future opposed to my own profile and other publications with a larger following. My stats have dropped significantly. What was once 1K + views has dropped to 100 + views.

I prefer to have a small group of readers and writers that take the time to engage and interact with me, but I am curious. How is that possible? I’m still the same person, unless Medium has designed it this way. Perhaps it’s little reward for the little people?

When Medium switched to membership I received an email requesting pitches for paid “content.” Their genres were selective and I didn’t feel as if I fit within their confines.

I pitched regardless.

They didn’t want my article about how and why suicide is prevalent with creatives, especially writers. Okay, fine. They didn’t want my article discussing the link between creativity and mental illness. Whatever. They didn’t like my pitch about how literature has changed over the course of generations and technology. Oh well. They weren’t interested in my story based on my obsession with cookbooks and recipe research (as if I may some day actually cook something) and if I were to- I’m confident it would be deadly enough to wipe out ISIS. Their loss.

But when I opened the membership email this week I felt somewhat of a knife stabbed through my heart.

There it was. A story about monsters. Not just any story about monsters, but a story written by someone who has seven followers and clearly created a Medium account in June, I imagine, to submit and be paid for his story.

Did Medium go outside of it’s borders to find writers when they have thousands of them right here? Granted he’s a published author. I may not have had a book or a novel published but I’m a published writer who is paid to write. Do articles and essays make me less of a writer than novelists? No.

It’s unfortunate for all the writers who tell amazing stories and receive little recognition outside of a green heart. We write and bear our souls, and we’re honest and real, and have the ability to connect with one another.

I may not be a big name with a shelf filled with published books but I’m not faceless either.

There’s this grand scale of people I’ll never know exist. There’s a world full of faceless people and so much happening everywhere at all times. Creativity and inspiration that may indirectly effect me. There’s countless stories that will be written that I’ll never read and I’m left here wondering.

Who are all the faceless people and why do they follow me?