Follow the Leader by Kevin Burkett(CC BY-SA 2.0)


"Did you get your blog post written?” asks my husband Andy.

“Yes, and five minutes after publishing it, someone unfollowed my blog.”

“Your post was that good, was it?”

“Yes, I guess so!”

In my early days of blogging, I would have become distraught if I lost a follower like that. I'd have said, “Did I offend someone? What was wrong with what I wrote?” And then I would have reread my post, trying to see it through outside eyes.

My confidence in my writing ability could have become shaky. I might have thought: “Obviously no one likes what I write. My words aren't very interesting. Perhaps I should stop blogging.”

But that was then, and this is now. I didn’t do that this time. I just shrugged. “Oh well. It doesn’t matter.” And it doesn’t. I'm going to keep writing. I have to.

If I stop writing, I stop learning and my writing will never improve. I need to keep experimenting, playing around with words, making up stories, and not worry about followers and unfollowers.

I read an article once which said success can be a problem. A problem? What could possibly be wrong with success? We all want to be successful, don’t we? 

Here's the essence of the article:

When our work is popular, we feel under pressure to keep being successful. And we think we have to keep producing more of the same: give people what they like. And so we stop experimenting. Our creativity comes to a halt. We become stale. And the fun goes out of what we're doing.

I've been unfollowed so I guess I don't have a success problem. There's a bright side to that. This means I can keep on experimenting. 

I like playing around with words. Do you?




You can also find me on my Sue Elvis Writes Facebook Page



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  1. I liked what you shared about success and stopping experimenting. I wonder if Danielle Steele feels that way. She has such a formula for putting out best sellers that people like but I wonder if she wishes she could write something else or a different style and still be accepted by her fans.

    I never worry about number of followers and if one unfollows. I know a lot of times I'll follow a blog (though I try to do it anonymously) while I'm seeing if I want to continue reading it, then if I like it enough, I'll follow it publicly. I'm always playing around with the blogs I follow since I follow so many, LOL, and sometimes have to reduce the number for my sanity :) (but would never unfollow you; I do enjoy what you write when you play around with words :)

    betty

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    1. Betty,

      I've heard of other authors who've felt pressured to keep producing the same kind of books. Whenever they have written something different, they have been criticised. It must be very difficult for them.

      Oh I understand totally about following too many blogs. I can't keep up with all mine either. Betty, I really am touched by your words about enjoying my posts. Thank you so much. I'm glad I met you through the April challenge. I do enjoy your posts too. I find it so easy to connect with your stories. Many other readers must feel the same way because we always have so much to say in the comments section!

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  2. The eternal second sock syndrom - now applied to writing ;)
    Keep on playing with words. I so long for you to understand Danish right now, as the poet, I translated in my latest "On my way home"-post is a genius when it comes to wordplay and having fun writing. I have not looked to see if other of his poems are translated, but it would require a poet to do that.
    Keep on experimenting, playing and writing, please. I'm not even sure, I'm signed up as a follower, but I read every post, you write.

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    Replies
    1. Like this one:
      I write my funny poems and sad poems as well.
      The funny are for everyone. I read the sad myself

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    2. A link to one rewiew of a translation, I found. http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=2217 Including a picture of my favourie poems "Odd Owl Awakens" (In this version The strange old owl awakens)

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    3. UGlemor,

      I've just been giggling! I'm so glad you left the link to the poems. I bet my girls would enjoy them as well. And I can see why you like the owl picture. The poems actually might inspire a silly mood. I have those from time to time. Silly moods are great fun.

      I wish I was good at languages. I do admire your skill at being able to speak English so fluently when it's not your first language. Sometimes it must be difficult when people expect you to speak their language and they aren't willing to learn yours.

      Thank you so much for reading all my posts. I feel honoured! Actually I feel kind of happy right at this moment. Thank you again!

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  3. I'd say musicians get like this too. You seem them break away from their typical music and try something new and boy do their fans get upset. You can't win ... extend yourself they say and then when you do, they say why go against a winning thing ... lol

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    1. Lisa,

      Oh yes, I agree! I imagine everyone gets fed up doing the same thing after a while. Well, maybe Enid Blyton didn't. She wrote over 600 books, all easily identifiable as her work. I wonder if she ever had any outrageously different ideas she never used. Perhaps she was too afraid to give up her winning thing!

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  4. Writers need to be thick-skinned, Sue.Mine is tough as an alligator, maybe a rhino. Though, I like the idea of elephant skin. Elephants are cute. I love their long trunks and tiny tails. Now, what we were talking about. Ah, yeah, writers. That's us. Hugs.

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    Replies
    1. Susie,

      I used to have elephant skin too, but then my children bought me loads of tubs of body butter... Did you ever read that story?

      http://www.sueelviswrites.com/2013/04/body-butter.html

      But I digress... Yes, a rhino skin is great protection in this writing world. I shall give away the butter and develop one. So lovely to be a writers together. Hugs to you too.

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  5. Those early blogging days were tough, second-guessing everything, wondering if people liked what I wrote. I'm so glad I'm in a place where it simply doesn't matter. I like trying different things, even if they are completely silly. Plus, I have a community of friends who always come and read and chat with me. I'm thrilled to have those internet friends.
    Keep on creating!
    BTW, I can't stand Canada Geese unless they are high up in the air, flying over us to get someplace far away from us. They sound nifty when flying, but are quite the nuisance on the ground. :)

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    Replies
    1. Christine,

      Oh yes, those early days were indeed tough! It takes time to gain confidence. I also like silly. I think my friends must be silly too because they encourage me in my silliness. Aren't we fortunate in our friends? I am so grateful for mine. I could write offline but it wouldn't be the same as sharing with people here.

      I have never actually met a Canada goose which is probably why I like this photo. Yes, some animals are more attractive when they are at a distance... even such animals as kangaroos. Oh they can cause so much damage when they get onto a road... But they are still a magnificent sight when we see them in the bush.

      Great to chat. I hope you keep on creating too!

      Delete

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