The Popularity Contest

Photo by MChe Lee on Unsplash

Sometimes becoming a writer feels like walking into the first day of junior high all over again. There are cliques and groups in all the spaces a writer exists; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. You are constantly trying to enter these spaces, learn the ropes and gain a following. 

Are you popular enough for people to read your thoughts and creations? Can you be funny, original or outrageous? Are you relevant? You feel the need to be all things in all spaces. You feel guilty if you don’t want to partake in the newest social media platform. 

For me, the idea of doing video snippets, whether in the form of IG reels or TikTok is horrifying. One, I might have to do my makeup every time, and that isn’t happening. Two, I’m not that entertaining. Three, I have stage fright. 

TikTok is the club I really don’t have an interest in joining. I’ll leave that space to the cool kids.

You know that cliched dream of showing up to school naked? Putting your thoughts and ideas out for everyone and their mother to read isn’t too far off. You are exposing the deepest and most vulnerable parts of your soul. Of course, that’s if you even get people to see and read what you’ve created. 

It’s the great dilemma, wanting people to read and connect with your ideas but also feeling embarrassed and terrified of others reading your pieces. Will they judge you, make fun of you, dismiss you? Or worse, what if you write it and no one reads it? What if no one cares? 

It’s a popularity contest, the adult version, and I might just end up sitting alone at the lunch table.

I know I can’t possibly be the only one that feels that way, and that’s why I keep putting myself out there. No one ever created anything worthwhile by being afraid. Every great writer started somewhere. Even if what I create is considered mediocre, at least I will have tried. I got up everyday with intention and hope. I did what made me happy. 

Please know, if you are putting yourself out there you will always have a spot at my table.

Now, if I could just remember the combination to my locker.

Published by Jill Robinson

Speech-Language Pathologist. Writer. Athlete. Wife. Mother. Animal lover. Not necessarily in that order.

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