I’m having a midlife crisis of sorts, and I need to talk it out. I’m dissatisfied with my life, specifically, well everything, but right now, I’m focusing on my lack of a career. I don’t want to be a freelance editor any longer, and I’m struggling as a writer. It’s not easy as a writer out there, what what? I knew it wouldn’t be because anything creative is gonna be a hard row to hoe, but writing in this day and age is capricious and whimsical. The great thing about the internet is that anyone can write. The bad thing about the internet is that anyone can write. I don’t know if you know this, but there’s a lot of shit on the webs. A LOT.
Let me hasten to say this isn’t new, the shit, I mean. 90% of pop culture is pure shit. Music, books, TV shows, video games, whatever–it’s mostly shit. It always has been, and it probably always will be. It’s just that the proliferation of shit is easier online. Any yahoo (see what I did there) can start a blog (ahem) and rant away. Yes, pot meet kettle.
The other problem is that because of the sheer volume, it’s harder to get noticed in this day and age. I can wade through twenty posts and maybe find one nugget of truth. I have up to fifty tabs open at a time, but I read maybe a fifth of the tabs I have open. I’ve been blogging on a daily basis (weekdays only) for nearly a year, and while it’s been beneficial to my writing chops, it’s not really gone anywhere professionally. I have a very small faithful band of readers, and I appreciate every one of them. Seriously. Learning that someone reads almost everything I write is humbling and gratifying. Hearing that someone remembers something I wrote years ago is amazing as well.
My problem is that I’m terrible at self-promoting. There are several reasons for it. One, in Taiwanese culture, you’re not supposed to brag about your achievements. There’s a superstitious reason for it–if you brag about something, the gods will be offended and punish you for it. In my family, it’s even worse. My father thinks mentioning anything you’ve done is bragging, even though he inside, he’s very prideful about his work, and it’s a complicated mess. In addition, women in American society get called bitches on the daily if they’re deemed as getting too big for their britches. This is the short answer as to why I have difficulty promoting myself.
In addition, I don’t like to intrude, and I don’t like to be a pest. Endlessly promoting my own work feels like both, but I know that’s something I have to get over. It’s also hard because it feels like my child has been rejected every time I circulate a post and it gets little to no love. I already have a low self-esteem, and that doesn’t help. It’s also frustrating when I read a lot of the shit being passed around as wisdom on social media.