Friday

Why I'm Okay with NOT Going Viral



It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. ~ Herman Melville
 
 
I love to write. I think if there were not such as thing as blogging, I would still do it anyway. In fact, I was doing it from the time I was ten years old until I had my twins. It was called journaling, and I did it everyday.
 
From documenting the mundane ("went to my brother's basketball game, came home, ate dinner and played Barbies") to telling stories or musing about the wonders of life, I have always written. I've just never shared.
 
Now that I am sharing, my words and my thoughts become so much more deeply personal. It's like putting all of yourself out on the line - opening your head and your heart and letting people peer in and dissect them.
 
It can be pretty nerve-wracking. So many times on my year and a half journey of blogging, I have thought, to hell with this. No one is reading. Why do I do this?
 
But so many other times, I have gotten a comment that has made me take pause - really stop - and thank God for the gift of my words. I had helped someone, or I made her feel normal or sane or okay or bonded to someone who has been through the same experience.
 
Lately, I'm not going to lie, I've heard crickets chirping. I've poured out my heart or tried something new, and I swear I could hear a pin drop.
 
And I was this close to stepping away. I watch other bloggers grow in leaps and bounds or see a post go viral or get retweeted, and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.
 
But then, I read about how Mary Tyler Mom is getting all sorts of negative comments on the Huffington Post about how she and Mary Tyler Dad handled their daughter's cancer treatment.
 
And then, I read about how Rachel Martin had her beautiful words stolen from her by another blogger.
 
And I've even seen how the Mother Theresa of the blogosphere has had to deal with haters, and it makes me actually glad that I have never "gone viral."
 
It's a huge responsibility, one I'm not sure I could handle.
 
I would die inside if someone took my stories about Joey and turned them against me. And while I would feel flattered if someone thought my words were awesome enough to covet, I'd be angry at the same time knowing that I am not getting paid for any of this, just putting it out there for free.
 
I have often thought how silly it is of me to moderate all my comments. I should just let them show up right away. I don't get that many, and they have all been nice (thank you for that!). I did receive two spam comments on my "Helping Those in Need" post (How did I know they were spam? They were directing readers to blackjack game websites and overseas financial institutions).
 
But if there were that one random negative one and if it just sat there on my blog until I could get to it? Well, I'd have to respond wouldn't I, and what if my response wasn't the right one? What if I handled it poorly, lost readers, looked foolish? That's why I moderate.
 
I'm not sure what's the worst, no one reading what you write, people hating what you write, or people stealing what you write.
 
For me, the former is probably the most ideal. That way it's still mine, the way I intended it. And even if no one is reading it, it still makes me feel good to create it. Does that make sense?
 
So, for now, I'm totally okay with flying under the radar and not going viral.


Writers, have you ever been plagiarized or gotten a nasty comment? How did you deal with it?

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