I'm no stranger to failure. I try out a lot of different things and most of them don't work. I push lots of ideas and most of them fall upon deaf ears.
Sometimes it feels like nobody gives a fuck what I'm doing, even if it's awesome, even if valuable. There are people who I feel are exactly the kind of people who appreciate and like what I am doing and yet they don't. I have ideas that I imagine the whole community would get behind because they are good ideas. Most of the time...nobody notices.
I know there are people just starting out and feeling like nobody cares, but it feels like that even for me, a dude who has been at it for years, and has a tiny audience already. Most stuff falls flat, even when I feel it shouldn't.
And sometimes the stuff that takes off feels like the weakest stuff I have to offer. It's frustrating when you put out gold and people hardly notice, then you lazily string together a few words and people love you for it. It feels like people are just following the hype train and hardly care about quality.
While that may be true for some or maybe many...lots of people are just swamped. It's not that they don't care. They can't focus. Or they aren't sure where they should focus. There are far too many things happening in any arena for any of us to be able to follow it all. Even just something like Leo Threads....you'd have to follow it 12 hours a day none stop to keep up with everything happening there.
Add to that the fact that people have multiple arenas where they are following things. They follow different kinds of news, their friends in the physical, online friends, online communities, family, their favorite tv shows or games or music or sports, this platform, that platform.
Of course people don't catch on quickly to what I'm doing!
It's not that what I'm doing isn't awesome....it is! It's that there's so much stuff going on, and some of it is awesome and some of it is crap and it's really hard to tell what's what and even if someone manages to only follow awesome stuff, they're not going to get to you every time.
It's natural. There is no reason to take it personally.
I wish I had realized this earlier. I spent a lot of energy trying to figure out why nobody cared, and made all kinds of theories about how dumb they were or how dumb I was or about how my ideas were incompatible with other people and this and that and the other, and really what it was was just....people are busy.
They're REALLY F-ing busy.
Even the ones taking it slow, aren't taking it nearly as slow as the average person 30 years ago, when there were a couple dozen channels on TV at best and no wide-spread internet or cell phones.
I know there are those who think this is a bad thing, but I don't think it is. It does however require two things from us.
The first is that we learn to prioritize the things that matter to us and the things we know we love at all costs. If we get lost in every single thing, we will lose a lot of precious time to do the things we really want to do, whether it's input like reading and watching our favorite forms of media or the stuff our friends make, or output, like creating our own art or building a business, or helping others.
The second is to not take things so personally. If someone answers you with a one word sentence when you wrote a paragraph to them, it doesn't necessarily mean they don't care. They might not care...but they might just have too many things on their list. When something you write gets no viewers or something you create gets no attention, something you sell gets no customers....it's not necessarily you. It's just a wild world out there!
The only answer is to keep improving, keep doing the things you want to do, and make an extra effort to support the people you support and build the communities you want to create.
Just gotta keep going.
You can reflect and assess what could be improved, but the only reason you should quit is if something else becomes more exciting to you.
I was hoping to have a much bigger following by now, and thought that I might be able to supplement my income through my art, but it's taking more time than I thought. But I should appreciate the accomplishments I've made so far....
I've published 3 e-books and turned two of them into a physical book. I may not have put out an album but I've written over 20 songs, about half of which I am really proud of. I write a blog that gets around 5-10 meaningful comments per article, and probably a bunch more readers than that at times, made a podcast with over 100 clicks per episode (how organic is another issue, but at least a third are organic). I may not earn a full salary from my artistic work, but I earn about half my monthly rent, which may not be a lot but it is meaningful!
I am not going to stop any time soon. I may jump from one mode of creativity to another and I may start new projects, but I am going to keep creating the things I want to create and share the things I want to share until it creates that positive feedback loop that I've always been after. I suggest you do the same!
Untangled Knots podcast:
Japanese Upbringing Explained (interview my Japanese student)