Lately I’ve been directing my energy towards writing a bit more. It’s both ways holding on to whatever thread of sanity I have left, and also not letting this year go to waste. Small accomplishments do add up, after all.
For now, there’s nothing too sophisticated happening beyond writing my thoughts down—word vomit if you may, just to get me going. That includes being a little more forgiving with grammatical errors and style inconsistencies. The overthinking and attention-to-detail that defined my early career as a journalist? Completely thrown the window for now, in exchange for something a little more… authentic.
Yet this form of self-therapy caused a thought to escalate into my head—one that’s actually been there for a while but I resolutely ignored:
Do people even read long-form content these days?
Do writers still have an audience?
Are bloggers still relevant?
I mean, look, as much as we all like to harp that ideally, we should do things for ourselves, it’s human nature (to me, at least) to want a little validation.
If I’m to be completely honest it’s this train of thought that has kept me from regularly updating this blog since I started it. Well that, and I’ve been so busy developing content for others, personal writing has taken a backseat.
In recent years, there’s been a surge of Instagram influencers, YouTubers, and now TikTokers, all of which I tried to be, believe it or not, in an effort to stay significant. It would be remiss not to adapt to the times and how people prefer to consume their content these days.
But that’s just not me.
I, writer by heart and soul, find myself lost in this new digital landscape, my words—and with them, opportunities—disappearing in the midst of instant content, viral videos, ridiculously pretty people, and not enough numbers.
How someone could garner thousands of likes in a single Instagram post with just an emoji for a caption while I struggle to break a hundred when I carefully craft my captions to be authentic—especially for sponsored posts— is extremely frustrating.
How the dumbest of memes earn so many retweets when one I’ve thought through doesn’t even get traction? Spirit-crushing.
How a press release can be copy-pasted word-for-word and passed off as personal (emphasis mine) content without adding anything else, while I try as much as possible to talk about first-hand experiences? Insulting.
Everything just seems so lazy and fleeting lately, life’s little stories that disappear in a day, never to be told again.
Let me be clear: I don’t have a prejudice against content creators with their chosen platforms, especially those who are clearly passionate and ethical about storytelling.
Just as how writing isn’t for everyone, vlogging requires a lot of hard work to be engaging, as does curating content for social media and practicing them ‘toks. I have tons of respect for those who really put in the effort and are consistent about it—not necessarily in terms of quantity, but more importantly, quality.
But I am butthurt over those who barely lift a finger and get the engagement a lot of us strive for.
And I’m not pretty enough.
Very childish, that’s me.
Yet in processing my thoughts, there is one thing I’ve come to realize, and that is my identity as a content creator: I’m a damn good writer. And even in my worst of writings, I can definitively say I put in time and effort.
This, I decided, is going to be how I make things better in my own way, my personal contribution to the plight of fellow writers who might also find themselves adrift in the current landscape of content consumption:
To keep going (and be more frequent about it!). To uphold standards, and hopefully inspire creatives—not just writers—that quality goes a long way.
A small but substantial effort to show brands and businesses, where applicable, that there are people out there who will really take care of how to connect you to their followers, regardless if they’re five hundred or five thousand.
And to our audience, it’s a two-way street: Feedback will forever be appreciated. Take a minute or two to share or write a comment—it matters so much.
Encourage your favorite content creators to be more authentic, to be better, hold us accountable for how we use our influence, challenge us so we get opportunities to develop better content.
Heck, tell your own stories too. Storytelling is as amazing as it is to hear them and read them. Let’s not let this craft disappear.
Above all else, don’t forget to double tap and leave a heart.
Yes, even on TikTok.