This blog doesn’t matter.
This blog doesn’t do much. It doesn’t reach a lot of people, and those people it does reach are almost all fans of mine already. I don’t dislike posting these things, but I don’t fool myself into believing it accomplishes much. It doesn’t. It doesn’t matter because nearly all of social media, in its multitude of forms, doesn’t matter. How many words are typed onto the internet, how many idle thoughts, personal revelations, random musings, etc. are shared in an average hour, and how many of them really mean anything?
For all the changes the internet age has bestowed upon us, it hasn’t changed certain immutable facts. Most human communication doesn’t add up to much, and we are all rallied around a few powerful voices. Release a photo of the new Star Wars cast, and everyone will see it. “Leak” a rumor about the latest twist in a TV show and watch as the world scrambles to decode it, eager to engage in meaningless debates about something designed to provoke meaningless debates in service of keeping people interested. These are the new power brokers (same as the old), and we happily play along, oblivious to our own puppet strings.
I’m just a guy who writes books, and I don’t imagine a lot of people are randomly dropping by here. Odds are good that you’ve read one or two of my books already, and that you like me enough to stop by and see if I have anything interesting to say this week. Happy to have you. Happy to share some thoughts. But it doesn’t accomplish a heck of a lot beyond reminding you that I continue to exist.
I’ve considered how to reach a wider audience, and the hard truth is that I can’t do it. I can post Youtube videos, but there are already millions of talented people doing that. Those people aren’t getting noticed either. I can blog. I can Tweet. I can broadcast my voice in a hundred different ways, and nobody will notice. That’s not a call for sympathy. It’s a struggle we all face here in this electronic realm. We jump into the social media ocean and hope we don’t drown.
In the real world, I am fortunate enough to have collected family and friends that all listen to me. I’m not on social media trying to scratch that itch. I’m here, strictly, as a writer trying to get noticed. It ain’t easy. Statistically, among the factors that lead to people buying books, social media is basically irrelevant. We all want that platform from which to broadcast our wisdom with the hopes that the whole world is listening (or at least a significant portion of it). For all the electronic chatter, we are still physically social creatures. A smile and a kind word from a stranger can often mean more than a long string of texts with a close friend.
The old world isn’t dead. The future hasn’t changed things nearly as much as we like to believe. I’m not one of those people who thinks social media is useless. I rather like it. It’s great for keeping up with real world friends who you don’t see as often as you’d like. It’s handy for reminding fans and readers that I exist. Put me down as a fan of the internet when it helps bring out the best in us, and as a guy who accepts that it sometimes brings out the worst too as a price for that. But it hasn’t replaced anything important. Not yet anyway.
As a writer, I need you to help spread the word. A single recommendation is worth a thousand blog posts, and all your help is always appreciated more than you’ll ever know. This isn’t about me though. It’s become something of a cliche at this point to say that we’ve become disconnected. We have, but I don’t think it’s any more than we ever have been. We are both incredibly social creatures but also, shy and confrontational and easily confused. We tend to stick with what we know, and we risk only as much of ourselves as is required to get by. We play it safe, and whether it’s finding those comforting corners of the internet where everyone already agrees with us or hiding away from the real world for our fears of being rejected, we accidentally and intentionally put up walls.
This blog doesn’t matter, but I do. And so do you. I know it’s only the words of a stranger who writes weird stories about space squids and vampires, but for what it’s worth, there they are.
Now stop reading this and go find someone in the real world to talk to.
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,