Would You Be Writing If No One Was Reading?

Writing, editing and publishing a post is just a part of the job of a blogger. I usually say it should take about 50% of your total time. The other part of a blogging job, the other 50%, is about getting your content to a consumer. I have already discussed quiet a bit about how a post can go from a blogger to someone that will consume the content. But there’s something else I have been thinking about as I am curious how important is the fact of getting your work out to the public. Does the fact of getting your work to the public matter to you at all? In other words would you still be writing and publishing content if no one was reading?

I was thinking of this recently as the matter of why you are actually writing is the key to becoming a success. For some writing is a reward on its own, it feels good to write, it helps get your thoughts together, helps you form an opinion and even therapeutic for some. On the other hand some get the validation only from the fact that other people read, share, engage with and like their content. There are also those for whom the only thing that matters is money and getting compensated for their writing is the key metric. I am especially thinking of the people who have popularity, power and money as their main motivation to write.

Writing is a difficult path to take in terms of earning money and making a living with one’s work. Only a few blogger wannabees actually end up with a successful site, only a few budding writers actually end up publishing and selling any books, even less people actually become popular and rich from doing it. You may be thinking that if your story is good enough or you have a great viewpoint on a specific topic, your content or your novel should sell itself. In some cases it might be true, but for most people it won’t be selling itself. There is a very uneven distribution in this field, it is almost a winner takes all society.

Blogging and the 99/1 principle

We usually talk about the 80/20 principle; 20% of work results in 80% of the results. In blogging and writing that figure is even more skewed, more towards the 1% like in the financial wealth gap number: 1% of sites get 99% of the traffic, 1% of writers sell 99% of all the books and so on. This might be the reason why so many people fail with their writing dreams. Many dream but few take chances and even fewer actually succeed.

This is where we return to the question from the headline of this post: Would you be blogging and writing if no one was reading what you have to share? The question is all about what your main motivation for having a site or writing a novel is. If becoming famous, successful and rich is your main motivation it won’t get you far in those long, hard days, months and years where you are supposed to be putting a lot of time and effort without seeing too many benefits. Extrinsic motivation will not be enough to stop you from quitting.

Before starting a new project think of your motivation and your goals. Try and find some internal motivation one way or another, something that does not depend on any external factors, something that will keep you going no matter what situation you get into. Only this way you will be able to push through any adversary and pushing through the difficult situations is the only way to actually get attention and maybe even start becoming a name that ends up publishing that bestseller novel or builds a site that is read by thousands of people. In the end I hope you are able to answer “yes, I would still be writing if no one was reading”.