Hey. Being an author or a blogger is no joke, especially if you mean to be around for the long haul. It requires a lot of passion, time, patience, and quite a backbone. Even “overnight successes” are oftentimes only “overnight” to the public at large, since not everyone was there to see the years of blood, sweat, tears, and legwork that went into making that “overnight” possible.
I see the frustration of fellow authors and bloggers who put so much thought and effort into their work, striving to put out quality books and content, but the interest and results they manage to garner seem so minimal.
“Hardly anybody reads my books, and even fewer people review them.”
“I do my best to get the word out there about what’s happening on my blog, but hardly anyone stops by, reads, or comments.”
“If nobody really cares about what I’m doing, why am I even doing it?”
Those moments of discouragement come to the best of us. But I find myself mentally (and sometimes vocally) countering the “nobody” question, asking, “Is ‘nobody’ truly no one at all? And if not, who is ‘nobody’?”
Besides the fact that, in most cases, it simply takes time to find and reach the right people and to stir up interest, I think the idea of “nobody” often comes from comparing one’s results to someone else’s. And too many times, we’re comparing our newbie or five-to-ten-year results to those of people who’ve been in the game much longer than we have or people who have resources that we don’t.
Still, there are billions of people on this planet. Billions. Even if you sell millions of copies of your book, or you have a million blog subscribers, it’s likely there will always be far more people on Earth who aren’t reading your book or visiting your blog. It’s likely that there’ll always be more people who’ve never heard of you, or who don’t care, than who have heard of you and who do happen to care about you once they’ve heard.
But are you going to spend your time worrying about all the people out there who don’t care, about all the folks who pass by your wonderful books or blog with nary a second thought or glance? No, I’m not saying not to bother with producing excellent work and growing your audience as much as you can—but I’m curious as to what magic number your audience has to reach before the people in it are no longer “nobodies” to you.
Of course, all authors and bloggers must decide for themselves the kind of results that are worth the energy, trouble, and finance they put into their work. There’s no hard and fast rule about what outcomes will or should make it all worthwhile for everyone in the writing world. Time, resources, goals, priorities, and any number of factors vary from person to person.
But if you’re in this for the long haul, I’d encourage you to remember that, out of the multitudes of people around, not everyone is, or is meant to be, your audience. Don’t undervalue or discount the people who are indeed listening to you, who are truly interested, even when the numbers are relatively few.
However large or small it is right now, your audience is your audience. And the human beings in it may very well need to hear what more you have to say.