No publications. No curations. No clout.
I have generally been one to shy away from sharing my artwork. Even as a musician, I still feel odd playing in front of people, and I feel awkward taking any compliments. This shyness has carried over to my writing as well.
Getting a notification that one of my pieces has been curated is exciting. It provides a specific type of validation that offers that perhaps what I have to say is valuable. It has helped me understand that my writing can make an impact. However, it is also a reminder to me that I cannot begin to rely on curation as a means to tell me whether or not my pieces hold value.
I have found myself writing frequently, and I have found myself sharing my work as much as possible. However, I don’t get much feedback from the people that mean the most to me. So, while I feel like getting curated is truly a step in the right direction, I am still not afforded the meaningful impact of what it feels like to hear “wow, that was really good!” from someone I love or respect.
Writing, just like any other artform, creates an opportunity to be humbled at any turn. I have read many articles on Medium, and I have noticed that my writing style is different than many. Sometimes I see pieces that get massive traffic and praise, and I wonder how this happened based on the seemingly weak content or the lack of creativity in writing style. Then I begin to wonder why the pieces that mean something so profoundly to me don’t even get one single clap. I try to figure out where I am going wrong.
At times, I will find myself questioning if I should change my style to adapt to what is trending. I ask myself if I should start writing on different content that is found to be more popular. I begin to question whether or not my writing is on par with other writers.
I allow that all-too-familiar self-doubt to reattach its roots and begin to grow and blossom into such a hideous, familiar beast.
Just now I realized that I wrote that last sentence out of what is supposed to be the “correct format”, and it rejuvenated me.
The majority of my life, I have lived on the fringe when it comes to what I like to do and how I view life. I have always been a rebel. I had frequently done the opposite when I was told to do something one way. I can adapt to my surroundings when I want and where I want, but when I refuse to conform, I will make it clear to all those around me.
So yea, maybe I will only ever get a few claps and comments. Perhaps writing is just more therapeutic for me than it is anything else. Just maybe what I have to say is only necessary for me to hear. I have only been at this on Medium for two months, so I know I need to learn how to slow down and breathe.
However, I am sitting at this moment, realizing that I do not need validation. I don’t want it. I don’t want to rely on the words and insight from others to feel like I am a decent writer. I don’t want to. I love feeling like what I say or write is impactful, but at the end of the day, who cares?
Who else can write through the lens of my struggles? Who else can put down the content burning deep down in my soul? Who else can establish my insecurities on paper better than I can?
No. One. But. Me.
So here is a reminder to myself:
Stay true to who you are. Don’t change for anyone else. Keep being pissed at the world. Never be silent about injustice. Always fight for and run with the underdogs. Never stop until oppressive systems are smashed by any means necessary. Don’t start trying to assimilate.