When No One Seems to Care About What You Create
How do you stay motivated to continue your creative pursuits when it seems like nobody cares about them?
If you are a creative person who shares your work on the internet, chances are you have experienced a version of this scenario:
You work hard on creating something. Maybe it’s a story, blog post, video, picture — whatever. You’re proud of it. You want to share it, because you think others will like it or it might mean something to someone. So you upload that video you worked really hard on to YouTube, or you post that picture you painstakingly set up to Instagram, or publish a blog post that you spent hours writing to your blog.
And no one cares.
Nobody sees it. And if they do see it, they don’t interact with it in any way. You start to think, because you didn’t get those coveted comments, likes, and shares, that whatever you created is worthless. After all, if you shout into the void of the internet and no one comments on it, did you even make a sound?
And honestly, it kind of sucks. Because no matter what someone might say, they don’t share their work because they don’t care if anyone sees it or not. They share it because they want recognition, or they want to connect with people, or they want to build their business, or whatever other reason they have.
I’ve been thinking about this lately with my writing. Even though I’ve been posting regularly and sharing my work, I haven’t gotten many views or much interaction. And while I don’t want or need to become a viral success, it does feel a little disheartening when something that I am proud of doesn’t get even a tiny bit of recognition.
Logically, I get that there is a process, and that almost all success comes from hard work over a long period of time. I understand and respect this.
Emotionally, I am an impatient, imperfect person who wants more than one clap on her Medium post, dang it.
So how do you stay motivated to continue your creative pursuits even when it seems like nobody cares about them?
(No, seriously, somebody tell me.)
While I wish I could give you a quick, foolproof trick that would give you endless amounts of motivation despite what anyone else thinks of your work, I can’t. I’m still trying to figure it out myself.
At the end of the day, I think we each have to find our own motivations for sticking with something. For me, I think I am able to continue to write because, ultimately, I love writing. Even if I was never able to build a business from my writing, I’d still keep a journal or write poems or stories that only I would read.
But would I keep blogging for the rest of my life if literally no one else ever read or cared about what I wrote? No. Because for me, it would become too draining to keep trying to put my work out there and never reach anyone. I post what I write online because I want to use it to connect with other people and maybe even help them in some way. If I didn’t want to do that, then I would stick to writing in a journal.
Another thing I remind myself of is that the true worth of something that you post is not efficiently measured by views and likes. The amount of content on the internet is endless, and good content will inevitably slip through the cracks. You can make the best video or take the best photo or write the best post ever and that doesn’t mean anyone will see it.
So keeping writing your blog post, taking your pictures, and making your videos. Try to find what keeps you motivated. Try to remember that the road to success is long and worth can’t be measured in likes. And try not to obsessively check your post views so much, it’s not healthy.
(Oh, wait, that last one was for me.)
Grace Carlson is a writer from Washington. She writes about travel, mental health, writing, and books. Sometimes she’s funny, or at least that’s what her mom says. Visit her blog, A Passport And A Pencil.