From dreaming big to staring at a blank draft

Everyday I read stories on Medium about writers who were completely unknown a few years ago, and now they have an audience. They are well narrated and probably inspire other writers as well.

Logically it makes sense, that most of the stories we read here, are from the most-read writers. That’s the way it works, just like upvotes on Quora, or likes on Facebook. Lately, the effect of these stories seem to be dwindling for me, and I’ll explain why.

I have been blogging for five years now, although until last year the posts were quite spaced out in terms of time. So whenever I published something new, a humongous outbreak of compliments ensued.

“This is so well written!”

“I want a signed copy when you write a book! Start one already!”

To be honest, I did get carried away, as some of these were coming from people I have a lot of respect for. There were a couple of competitions I won as well, albeit one that consisted of only business school students. Looking at the work some of my friends published, I haughtily scoffed. When nothing else seemed to work out, I used to calm down, thinking: ‘It’s okay. I am meant for greatness.’

In the last couple of months I’ve written more than I have in the last couple of years before that, which is awesome. Sadly the audience has dropped like a stone. Nobody asks me about my plans for a book anymore. Now I exude the vibes of an average writer, hoping desperately for applause every time I scribble. I am told my writing isn’t gripping enough, and that I don’t understand my audience. And now while my mind constantly grapples with what people want to read, I stare for long hours at a blank draft.

Hello, reality.

It’s amazing the kind of encouragement writers get at their first few attempts to write. They all get carried away to some extent, enough to continue. And when they try to be consistent and put in some real quality effort, nobody is there.

Since I’m new here, I really don’t expect this to be read at all. But in the off chance you are reading this, and you are going through this phase, I want you to know: you are not alone. I am staring at a blank draft. It’s not about that big dream anymore, it’s about choosing to be better.

Let us decide to keep singing, until we are heard. I would like to end with a quote that has continually shown me light.

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