Popularity and Self-Worth

I wasn’t going to post this weekend since I have a friend visiting, but we talked about an interesting subject I wanted to blog about.

Now, this topic is old and has already been discussed many times. However, I wanted to point it out again and ask, “Why do we let popularity measure our self-worth?”

A major issue for me while posting my stories online is feeling like a failure. I only felt like that for one reason:

  1. The lack of reads on my work

Yes, that’s it. I’ll also use the example of a self-published author who posted their book on Amazon. One self-published author is getting 5-10 reviews a week, and the other is only getting 1 or 2. Does that mean the second author’s story is bad? Not always. We have to look at different factors when it comes to determining if we are successful or not.

For the first author, we have to ask the following questions:

  • Who is their target audience?
  • What is their marketing plan?
  • How many stories have they written in the past?
  • What is the quality of their work?
  • What is their author platform?

When I started looking at my work from a different viewpoint, I figured out more why my reads and reviews were lacking compared to other writers.

  • I don’t update every week (I tried in the past, but I got busy with school and work).
  • I don’t invest in the community enough (When I did invest in the community, I was getting more attention).
  • My readership is more of a niche (Most of my readers like mermaids, mermen, and/or like reading about a black female protagonist).
  • My target audience isn’t young adults, it’s new adults (Sadly, I’ve noticed most readers online are teens, not young adults or adults).

The key thing I’ve seen here is a niche readership. Having a niche readership isn’t a bad thing. As my friend pointed out this weekend, J. K. Rowling wrote a Wizarding World. It was something new that readers hadn’t seen before. I’m sure at first Rowling only had a few readers, and then as her story got more exposure, her readership grew.

There is one point I want you to take away from this post, and I need to follow my advice too. If you ever feel like you’re a failure at writing, assess why first. What are other writers and/or authors doing that you aren’t?

For me, I’m letting my issues with self-doubt destroy my progress. With that being said, I plan to post my stories back up for reading. However, depending on my future work and my goal of publishing, I won’t be posting the new stories online.

Since people have already read Clash of Tides and Love for an Angel, I’ll post those again. For my new work, those will be kept offline. Don’t worry, though; I will still post short stories and poems

Have a good weekend! I hope this was helpful to those who feel like failures.

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10 thoughts on “Popularity and Self-Worth

  1. Yeah, you can’t compare to others. I don’t have my books on Amazon at all. And though my download rates are generally pretty steady at around 15 – 30 a day, I don’t get many reviews on Goodreads or the other retailer platforms. That’s okay. Considering that I have yet to pay a dime for advertising, my success went above and beyond what I hoped for. And don’t worry so much about the specifics of your genre and target audience. Half the time people think my books are YA, when there’s detailed sensuality going on. NA maybe, but I consider them for adults. Of course, that doesn’t stop people from well outside my “range” from reading them. I think considering your circumstances, you have done very well for yourself. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like how you really researched and thought about the reasons for your readership. In my opinion, honest self-assessment often allows us to look at perceived issues with logical eyes, instead of an emotional heart (which often leads to heaping loads of self-doubt).

    The awesome thing about niche audiences is they are often rabid fan boys/girls. By this I mean they are very likely to promote an authors work to those around them and write reviews. I think we’ve all had a friend who said something along the lines of, “I know you may not be into [insert genre], but this book is amazing.”

    On a side note, I really like your website layout right now. It’s very crisp.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, and yes, I did research before I posted this. I do agree with you about niche readers. I started thinking I should enjoy having a small audience. If I had too many people reading and commenting, I wouldn’t have time to get back to people.

      I’m glad you like the new layout of the website. I wanted something easier for people to navigate. Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  3. It’s unquestionably tough when you’re not seeing the kind of pick-up on your work that you were hoping for, especially when you work so hard on putting out quality content.

    I’m trying to remind myself not to focus so much on reads. Over the last week I’ve seen a huge spike in readers on my website thanks to a post that got a bunch of notes on Tumblr. At first I was thrilled to see so many people reading the story, but in all that traffic I’ve only received one comment. I’ve come to realize that what matters most to me personally is knowing that people are connecting with my work on a personal level.

    I’d love to see more comments and have more conversations with readers about TSATO, but I don’t want to let the fact that its not happening right now drag me down. I just have to keep reminding myself that I love the story I’m telling. Any of the readers who jump on board as I go are a happy bonus ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is tough, but like you, I’m more about writing the story at this point. ^__^

      I’ve decided I’ll be my own fangirl, even if others aren’t.

      That’s great you got more of a pickup! I hope your reads continue to grow, and more readers comment. I know what you mean about the conversations. I wish I could discuss more of Clash of Tides with my readers, too, but what can I do?

      Like

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