The Story of Yours You Hate Might Go Viral
The other night, I wrote 450 words of a story, I wasn’t impressed with. I stopped writing it — because I simply didn’t find it intriguing and lost interest. However, I realized if I left it in my drafts unfinished, the time I spent writing it would’ve been a complete waste. I forced myself to finish it and posted it, because nothing bothers me more internally than having wasted my own time.
While I can’t necessarily say Medium featured it, their curators did pick it up and distribute it. It’s done better than a majority of my more recent stories have, for that reason I’m assuming. While this doesn’t mean this particular story of mine is better than everything I’ve written as of late, it does mean something.
It means stories I feel pack no punch or lack intrigue, may completely resonate with others. I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m a terrible judge of my own work. Most of my favorite stories I’ve written here, ones I was certain would do well — just flat out didn’t. They bombed, or were a flash in a pan for a fleeting moment. Again, this doesn’t mean they were bad — but it does mean something.
Generally speaking, I probably have as much in common with Medium’s curators and editors as O.J. Simpson does with Joel Osteen. To say their taste in writing differs from mine, would be the understatement of the year. They have names I can’t pronounce and order things from Starbucks that I can’t afford. Their cushy and yoga induced Bay Area reality is very different from my barely middle class, crime ridden city existence.
This is bittersweet, in that they seemingly have very little interest in stories of mine, I personally love. The upside however, is they just may go out of their way to promote a story of mine I almost didn’t post. While I know better than to write 400+ words to a story and then abandon it, the ability to see which stories of mine Medium’s curators have picked up has served as a reminder to finish every story and “sail my ships” so to speak.
My job is write open and honestly. Beyond that, I have no control over what happens. The only way to ensure a story of mine doesn’t do well, is to not post it. It’s like that old, annoying and over used cliche’d quote from Wayne Gretzky goes, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Writing and really any form of art, is completely subjective. What you hate, others may love and vice versa. Self doubt and overconfidence have no place in writing, both will lead you astray every time. If you write something with the intent of posting it, finish it and do so. The truth is, we never know which stories of ours will take off and which will collect dust and die in obscurity. All we can do, is do our best to do our best work. The rest is out of our hands.