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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Everybody Hurts...sometimes

(To be read while "Everybody Hurts" by REM plays automatically in the embedded jukebox at the bottom of the blog).

Originally, I was planning on beginning this post with the question, "Is there anybody out there?" It would have been a little Pink Floyd for your day, and who doesn't need a little Floyd?

In the end, however, I decided to go with the feelings that had been driving me to address this topic in the first place, and that was a little bit of frustration, melancholy and the "blues". It certainly wasn't depression or anything like that. Let's be clear. However, ever since I was a teenager, I have handled these types of situations the same; bottle them up and turn on the music! I used to sit in my bedroom and listen to songs just like "Everybody Hurts" for hours. One would have thought that I might have made myself worse with depressing songs like that, but somehow I felt better afterward. Maybe I felt like others were sad or lonely just like I was, and that we were all "suffering" together. I don't know.

I have been blogging since January, learning on the fly much of the way. Now I am on three different blogs. On this one, I have 70 followers. On my Facebook author's page, I have 156 followers. Lastly, on Twitter, I have 56 followers. Certainly some of those are repeats, but in all of those wonderful possibilities, I very often receive few comments. Each time I post, be it Wicked Writers, Something Wicked This Way Comes or Dance on Fire, I post a note and link on Facebook and Twitter. If it is one of the other two blogs, I always come back here and post a note and a link.

Does anyone else go through periods where you wonder whether anyone is paying attention? You spend a great deal of time writing a post, polishing it and double-checking that everything is perfect, only to have one or two people leave a note. How do you deal with it?

Perhaps many of you out there have so many followers now that this never happens to you anymore. Can you recall the early days of blogging when the feedback was pretty non-existent. Would your advice simply be to keep at it and trust that the folks will be attracted to what you're doing eventually?

Lately, I have been busy. I lost my pc for a week when it got hit by a virus. It's okay now, but I did buy myself a laptop before that happened. However, between nearly 11 hours a day at my day-job, three blogs and an on-line magazine that I write for, I have spent very little time following my favorite blogs. Is that the key? The fact that everyone else is in much the same boat? Reading, reviewing, writing, working day-jobs, too?

There were two reasons, I think, for sitting down to write this post. First, to feel sorry for myself for a moment and then to get rid of the useless emotion that it is! Secondly, to write something constructive and real. Perhaps other bloggers might be feeling some of the same things and are struggling with it like I was, albeit briefly.

Actually, I'm sounding quiet cavalier about the subject, when in fact it bothered me this weekend more than I'm letting on. I had a post for Wicked on Friday, a restaurant review for Kings River Life Magazine and another post for Something Wicked, but heard very little back. I'm better now, but it did bother me.

How many of you have gone through the same thing? How did you get over it? Maybe you are going through much the same right now. I hope not.

Unfortunately, a fellow supervisor at my workplace was found dead of an apparent heart attack Monday morning by his 14 year old son. He was 51. That may have had something to do with getting me through the "woe is me" period that had taken hold during the weekend. If we could ask him, I bet he wouldn't be too worried about posting something that very few, if any, had read.

Perspective. That was what I had needed after feeling sorry for myself. I hope I don't soon forget it.

If any of you have felt the same, I hope to hear from you. If not, good; but say hello anyway. If you end up being too busy to stop by and never know that this post was written, I promise to hold my head up and not let it get me down.

And I certainly hope that you weren't able to stop by because you had way too much on your plate, and unable to enjoy the day. I would think that my departed friend, Russ Garcia (God rest his soul and bless those young children that he left behind), would have much to say about that.

We'll talk soon.

Postscript: If you are new to this song and have never seen the video, you should. I tried to post it here, but Warner Bros. records would have none of that. Follow the link to YouTube and check it out here. I've watched it twice these past few days, myself.
In about a week, I'll add some new tunes...


  1. I have been there. I feel you. And, as someone who hasn't stopped by very often, I'm sorry. I think once you become a busy blogger and writer, you lose time. Why? I don't know. But it happens.

    Been there, feel you, I'll try to stop by more!


  2. So right...everyone could use a little Floyd.

    Time, my friend, time. That and I believe there is that force out there that sends the right people to you at the right times. And if you can touch just one person in this world at any given time... Well I don't have to explain that any further to you.

    Oh, and one last thing. "I bet he wouldn't be too worried about posting something that very few, if any, had read." Having a heart attack at 51 and dying means he had more than his fair share of worries. So maybe you're a little off on the message/lesson being brought to you.

  3. I'm back! After reading your post, I moved on to this one and thought of you. Enjoy! It's a great blog!

  4. Thanks, Ladies.
    Michele, I appreciate you taking the time. I know how busy you are. No need to apologize. Thanks so much.
    Wendy, thanks for your comment. You are right, the word I heard was he had heart issues and may have decided to quit taking his meds. Thanks for more perspective... ;)

  5. The blogger blues. I get that all the time. I try to comment on the blogs I follow, but time is a killer. And then when I do start reading & commenting, I realize it's way past my bedtime (like now). But I just wanted to add to your comments & show you I read your blog. And if you ever get around to coming back to my blog and reading my query, I'd appreciate it :)

  6. See, Stacy. That's exactly what happens, doesn't it? We're all so terribly busy. We mean well, but stuff just gets in the way. I have read the query, but I promised to get back to it and give you more thought on it.
    Thanks for the comment and the reminder.
    I'm going to bed now, too...but I'll see you tomorrow. If I don't, you'll know right where to find me. Lol!
    Thanks and blessings,

  7. Don't be blue. I think everyone is super busy right now with summer vacations and back to school. I was so busy this week I wasn't even able to post on my regular days.

  8. James, I was just there yesterday and today. What triggered mine was some unexpected critical judges remarks, reminding me I should not be entering contests still!! You think I would learn. I doubted my talent, my career choices, heck, even my family for a bit (they are thankfully used to it). In the end I understood I was just feeling indulgent, and declared the Pity Party was over about 1:00 today.
    Here's some good news. Loved your book and finished it last night, wrote you a review tonight. I was born in Fresno, my Dad in Selma. My grandfather and great grandfather were Baptist ministers in Selma, "The Home of the Peach" my father used to sing as a boy. I used to ride my grandfather's horse, Bobby Rex sometimes. He's the one that loved the Tennessee Ernie Ford songs at 2 AM. Hang in there. Lots of us have that little patch of blue somewhere that sneaks out now and then. Called normal.

  9. Missed Periods, thank you so much for stopping by. I guess one cannot help it when certain feelings spring up. Hopefully we try and wipe them away as best and as soon as we can. Part of writing that post was to do just that.
    I know everyone is busy. I intended to do a few things and I haven't gotten to them either.
    Anyway, thanks again.

  10. I get emails all the time from people who prefer private conversations over public comments. And I have people who have followed me for three years but only now are leaving comments. It's a trust thing. They have to feel comfortable on my blog. That's why I always make sure they feel welcome, especially on their first time.

    Other reasons people don't comment: Sometimes the post doesn't resonate with them. Sometimes they're busy. Sometimes they just forget to check in. It's not a reflection of you, but rather that thing we call life.

    Sometimes they are simply readers and not commenters.

    Commenting is reciprocal too. Making yourself visible on other blogs, saying smart, funny or insightful things gets you noticed. And that brings more people to your blog--and hopefully, more comments.

    PS If you've been blogging since January, you're doing great.

  11. Hi, Sharon. Another reason for posting was the curiosity to see whether others out there felt the same as me sometimes. Very often when I surf through the new blog posts and I find that someone has had no comments, I will leave a comment simply because I can't stand that "0" that is standing there, defiant.
    I found the review on Smashwords. Thank you so much! And what a small world! If you are ever planning to be back in the old neighborhood, you'd better let me know. Will it be coffee or blended drinks? ;)

  12. Jimmy!
    Firstly James, I can’t listen to that song here in the U.K. licensing reasons. But I know and like the song.

    I think we all get like that on occasion. I have a strong need for approval (as you know)!
    I have wondered if people are reading things I wrote. A writer friend of mine said ‘getting down’(blues, etc.) is a ‘writer’s thing’ and I think that’s exactly what it is. Let’s face it. Even if we are surrounded by family, we are pursuing the loneliest profession in the world: writing.

    We write and write and often there is no feedback because we can’t get feedback for every single sentence and thought. So there’s always that question—the doubts coming into play.

    --are we good? Maybe our early success is a fluke. Maybe we will stagnate. Maybe we won’t but will stagnate later.
    Doubts and doubts and more doubts.
    I think listening to whatever helps is good. When i have a bad day I very often watch or listen to the Psycho (film) theme. Maybe it’s to realize there’s always worse that can happen!

    I have at least come to understand (for myself) I have good days and bad. Good days are happy and I feel positive about my writing (it’s always about my writing) I am happily married so the only real problems pertain to the writing aspect.

    that is the central point of our lives, lets face it. I mean we know who we’d save in a fire—family, children spouse—but how many times will we be called upon to make that sort of decision? What plays upon our minds constantly—THE WRITING!

    It is a curse and a blessing.

    A writer, just getting started asked me how would he know if he was good without critiques from readers.

    I said I send a story out and if it gets rejected, that’s negative feedback. If it gets accepted, that’s positive feedback.

    I really feel that way. I may be insecure in other ways, but not about that. I would be paralyzed with someone analyzing every aspect of a story.

    I’ll get my feedback upon submission. I wouldn’t say that applies to a book though. But enough about me.

    As for blogging, I’ve written posts that I thought were totally brilliant and no one’s said a thing! I had a follower who was always commenting to the point where I named a character in a story after her. She loved it but then I think she emigrated to the moon--
    but people get busy or whatever and they drift away, etc.

    Sure, what we write (blogging) as well you know--! is vitally important to me, to you—and we want to know what people think.

    Maybe though when we haven’t got feedback we can just think—yeah, okay so I threw this out in the world and maybe loads of people are reading it and enjoying it and they just don’t come back to me.

    About your colleague who died. Reminds me of my dad. My father was gone at 52. He worked himself literally to death which threw my mother into a state from which she never recovered. She began to die only it took her 27 years to accomplish the task.

    Death and life span calls into question the ‘why’ factor. What’s it all about, what’s it for? Why do good people die young?
    My dad was going to do so much upon retirement—all sorts of volunteer work that he used to talk about. He was loved by so many: family and friends and people he hardly knew! A more selfless, generous human being I have never met.

    he used to buy bags of food for the homeless who hung out on 23rd Street in Manhattan where he worked or cartons of cigarettes if they smoked, people got invites to dinner. He was special.

    But he used to say, ‘it’s a tough life, no one gets out alive.’ Heck of a saying, right?
    James, to sum up, I’d say we’re all scared sometimes, sad, hopeless too on occasion.
    How’s this for a suggestion? Get a tape of thunderous applause, read out your blog post or story and play the tape?! It’s worth a try.

    take care my friend.

    and sorry I wrote so much!

  13. James,

    You are not alone. I feel like that some days too and I know many others who've mentioned it also. Let's face it, there are just too many blogs! It is hard to keep up. I can't visit everyone's post, especially those that post everyday, but I try to make my rounds every week.

    I've had some big projects on my plate lately and I know others go through this period as well - to get any kind of quality writing done, you need to step away from the Net, so it is not that I don't enjoy your blog or that others don't either, but many have goals set for contests/anthologies/novels, which don't always allow them to blog as much as they'd like to.

    I've lost two followers this week because, 1) they don't like my writing, 2) I've offended them, or 3)I'm not posting as often. You have to be a duck in this business. Write because you love to, post because you want to share your work, regardless of responses...okay a couple would be nice.

    Something that has always helped me deal with these issues was advice from someone anonymous: Take compliments like you do criticism - just because someone says you're good, doesn't mean that you are and if someone says you're lowsy, it also doesn't mean that you are. Following this motto, if I post something, and don't necessarily get the responses I was hoping for, I still know that I am a writer, good or bad, and I am still following my dream. That gets me through.

    Good luck, be a duck. Corny, but true.

  14. By duck, you know, I mean let the rejections, criticisms, popularity politics all wash over you!

  15. I think by the number of comments you have got, it is clear people are reading! For me the challenge is getting other readers to read, not just other writers who are all in the same boat! Of course it is lovely to have the support of fellow writers, but ultimatly we do this for book promotion (don't we?). If I ever crack the formula, I'll drag you along for the ride!!!

  16. Thanks, Maria. I realized, as the new week began, that I had been far too busy to visit too many blogs, too. All I'm doing in 2010 is PR; wait until I start writing again. I've had the sequel in the "can", so when I start writing whatever comes next, we'll have to see what needs to happen.
    I'm thinking the 10.5 hours I spend at work really get in the way. Perhaps it should be removed? LOL!
    Thanks so much for stopping by.

  17. Carole, you and I need to stop apologizing to one another!?! Ha!
    I so appreciate the time you took to write your note. It was incredibly generous and encouraging. I'm really grateful to have met you and look forward to getting to know you so much better. Hopefully that entails collaborating sometime in the future, whether that means w/ Wicked Writers or something else. Have a great weekend!

  18. Erin, thanks. I went through several stages while I was in my "woe is me" period, and ultimately, I told myself just exactly what you said. As I was telling Maria, I, too, am going to have to make some decisions in the near future. I have a sequel that is essentially done-I just want to go over it one last time before handing it off to Vamplit. Eventually I will no longer have the luxary of having another book waiting, and will have to begin the next project. When that happens, what will give? Perhaps I will only be able to touch base with all of you on a weekend or a certain night a week. We'll see.
    I am so grateful for all of you, however. And I hope to be the kind of friend, the kind of presence in all of you ladies' lives, as you have been with me; not only with this post, but all year.
    Thanks again. Take care.

  19. Thanks, Marissa. we'll see what happens next when we all have paperbacks to hand out. For me, I have had so many tell me earnestly that they are anxious to get their hands on my physical book. It will be interesting to see what kind of doors begin to open next.
    Thanks for stopping by...I know exactly how busy you have been lately. This weekend I will see what I can do for another post on "Something Wicked..."
    Take care, my friend.

    Again, to all of you who have taken the time to drop by and offer encouragement and **hugs**, I offer some right back at you!!

  20. I think all of us bloggers feel what you're feeling at one time or another. I remember writing one early post saying "if a tree falls in the forest..." in relation to "if I'm blogging and no one is reading..."

    It could also be that you have readers lurking, but not making comments. I think initially people are shy about leaving comments. I used to feel that way, but now I realize how nice it is to drop a note, even if it's short.

    You're so right when you say we need to put it all in perspective. This is just one piece of a very big pie, and if nothing else, it's nice just to chat with other writers...whether on blogs or on Twitter. It helps me purge my writerly thoughts without boring the family!

  21. Thanks, Julie. It has been so nice to hear from everybody. I promise to get back to my masculine side for the next post! Lol! I hope you're having a good day. My wife and I just came out of the movies. We saw The Switch with Anniston & Bateman. It was cute. Don't know what all of the critics were whining about!!

  22. How nice that you and your wife had a date night! I want to see that movie, but my boys are so young we usually see things like Despicable Me. I'll see The Switch when it makes it to DVD!

    Don't worry about that masculine side. We like you just the way you are (speaking of songs, I hear a Billy Joel tune coming on!)

  23. Despicable me? Kidding. My wife and I saw that one, too. We don't go as often as we'd like, but during my vacation, we managed to go quite a lot. We thought that one was good. Salt was good. My boys and I saw Inception. Very good.
    Ha! "Just the Way You Are". Took me a second. It was the two Long Island Iced Teas at dinner that clouded my head full of useless trivia!
    Good night.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Sorry for deleting my above comment! What I meant to say was . . .

    I feel this way every now and again. I think it comes with the blogging territory.

    I'm glad you're feeling better about it and think this post was a great way to help!

  26. Thanks for stopping by, Kelly. This has been the most "successful" of all of my posts, perhaps due to the fact that it was real. I meant it when I said that I used to go all introvert in my youth, using music to salve whatever I was feeling. Hopefully I am a little older ans wiser than that now.
    Perhaps this "blue" period was simply a case of trying too hard to get somewhere too fast. I don't know, but I can guess that it must have had something to do with it.

    My friends, I appreciate and treasure all of the friendships I have made and hope to be a good friend to all of you as well.

  27. Hi - I am new follower from the blog hop, hope to see become one of mine soon also.Thanks
    Mr Monkey

  28. Oh, I think part of it is the time of traffic has been less lately. But, also, I have been so busy I'm not getting around much lately to say hello to all my friends. It's hard. Time is finite. We had back to school yesterday, but only a half day. Today was a full day. Dance and sports are back in full swing...I don't have internet on my phone, and I'm driving kids all over most of the day.

    I haven't cracked open my word.doc in over a week! There just hasn't been time.

    So, what I'm saying is...what you already have said above: people are busy.

    Lastly, my sweet friend, I find these tips help to get comments:

    1)Keep your posts fairly short. When people see big long posts, they skip on t the next one in their readers. (I'm not great at keeping my posts short) If it's easy and fast to read, they will.

    2) Always ask a question at the end of your posts, so they have an easy way to respond.

    3) And this one is the MOST have to leave a lot of comments to get a lot of comments.

    I follow a LOT of blogs, and I have a fairly large amount of followers (450-ish) and I admit, I always prioritize commenting first on those that leave comments on my blog. (which is usually between 50-70 comments a day) I try to leave personal, well thought out comments (like this one) and commenting takes me a long time. After that, I zip through my reader and try and read everyones blogs, but only have so much time for more comments.

    Anyway, you are loved in the blogosphere. :)


  29. Thanks, Lola. It was very nice to see your comment on my iPhone this afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised that anyone might take the time so long after I posted this. That was sweet of you. Thanks, too, for your helpful hints. I think you hit it square on the head; we just don't have the time. We all want to touch base with all of our 'net pals, but there simply isn't the time. So, I am writing my resignation and quitting my 10.5 hour day-job immediately...not really. It sure does get in the way of blogging, though. Not to mention that third book I need to start writing sometime before this year is over. If not for the fact that I like to eat, I might do exactly that!
    Not really.
    Talk to you soon,


Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate you taking the time. I'll get back to you here or on one of the other social networks. It's not like we're not on all of them, right? ;) Also, if you're here to give me an award - bless you. However, your friendship and visits are more than enough. Thanks and blessings.