Last week I published a blog post that I felt was one of my best works. After being emotionally rattled from an earlier comment, instead of outwardly reacting to it, I took my feelings out on a work of writing. It immediately worked. I felt at ease; once again, writing had become my healing salve.
If you write it, will they read? No.
I felt emotionally attached to that blog post, and I had high hopes that others would read it. But when I released it, I only had four people read it. When my average is usually 30 or more, this result felt like a slap in my face. It shouldn’t have, but it did.
After I embraced the fallout of feeling rejected by my unnoticed blog post, I reflected deeply as to why this happened.
Was it just not the right time for that post?
Did I choose the wrong image?
Was it poorly written?
Am I regressing as a writer?
Am I even worthy of calling myself a writer?
See what I did there?
As I dug deeper into the questioning, my insecurities quickly bubbled to the surface. Once again, as it often does when I feel rejected, I question if I’m enough. I run right down the rabbit hole of self-deprecation. I begin to question my contribution to the world and feel as though my life will never be enough.
Why do I need to have people read my stuff?
I selfishly equate the number of reads to appreciation and my impact. The more reads, likes, comments I get, the more I feel validated that I’m making a difference. This shallow need to be validated takes away from the real gift that writing gives me: A meaningful escape from my deepest thoughts and a chance to share them with others, so they feel better about theirs. Yet, I project these thoughts hoping someone will validate them.
Why do I have a constant need for validation?
I’m not alone with this. Every one of us has a need to be validated. Validation keeps us in check with our tribe. It tells our ego that we are doing a good job and that we are pulling our own weight. But for most of us, the need for validation goes a little deeper. I could blame it on my youth, but that’s to easy. Blame is weak and pointless. What ancient hole in my soul am I trying to fill?
Why do I feel so empty?
Now, this is getting tough — the “why?” trail is getting deep. My emptiness stems from my deep-seated fear of trust. Because I cannot openly trust, I am left with a gaping hole inside that can only be filled by trusting another. By not trusting and allowing anyone in, my void can never be filled, and it only gets deeper the older I get.
Because I’m unable to trust, I seek protection from my void by what I outwardly project -like my writing. When I feel as though my writing is being rejected, I become exposed, fearful and small. My void consumes me, and I start to breakdown.
So, if I write it, will they read it? Not all the time. But sometimes, it’s probably best that they don’t.
There’s a lesson to be learned -just for me.
Like a tree falling in the forest, if nobody is there to hear it fall, did it make any noise? I don’t know. I wasn’t there to hear it. But, if a blog post is written, and nobody reads it, did it make any impact?
Perhaps I’m the only person that needs to read it. And the single impact it will ever make is on me. Life is not about how others react to you, it’s how you react to yourself.