What’s it like when you put out your “best stuff” and its greeted with not much? Jeff Cann brings this up in his latest post, Buzz, revisited. He loves Buzz, spent a lot of time and energy on it, and when he posted it last week, there was little response, far less than for others of his pieces that are less significant to him.
I’m only 7 months into this blogging adventure, and I’ve had this happen more than once. I work on something and get it so I really like it, I feel like I’m communicating what I want to communicate; a piece of my heart and soul is out there on the page. And the response from the blogosphere is a collective yawn. I don’t know what that’s about, but I have a few ideas.
For me, when I read a deeper piece, I often want to ponder it for a while before I write a more thoughtful response, which leads to a time delay. Today illustrates this well. I was writing this post in my mind as I headed to the Y for yogalates class. Once set up in the yoga room, I jogged around the track a bit, and started dictating this post into the WP app on my phone. After class, I went to my office to see a client, thinking I would finish this post before my client’s arrival.
The internet was down, so instead of posting, I worked on getting the modem reset for the building. Then I met with my client, which went longer than anticipated. Getting home later than planned, I ate lunch and then went upstairs to work. In the interim, my rough draft had disappeared from my phone. A pretty long winded way of saying life sometimes gets in the way. My response to Jeff’s post could have easily not happened. If I didn’t have this post in mind, it may well have died of thwarted good intentions.
Another thought I have about this is that the more specific a story is, the more some folks may not resonate with it, or as happened for me with Buzz, I read it, and while I appreciated the writing, the feeling harkened to time and experiences that are far enough in an unpleasant backwater of my life that I had an aversive reaction. Think cleaning up a room the morning after a party, with the stench of spilled beer and bong water.
Its interesting to me now to realize that’s why I didn’t respond the first time. In going back, per your request, Jeff, I’ve learned something more about myself and a depth of reaction I was unaware of at the time of first reading Buzz. Powerful writing, and I do have a response, and my limited initial response may have be due to the circumstances under which I first read it, likely while eating my lunch at work. Sometimes I’m in a reflective space then, sometimes I’m not.
This has been an interesting experience, reading and re-reading Buzz and pondering this issue. Intellectually, I am aware that responses or lack thereof to my work may have little to do with the piece, and be more reflective of the reader. Depending on how much I have invested in a piece that may be a perspective that is difficult to access. It also occurs to me that if on occasion it feels like the readers have missed the boat, reposting and asking for a second look could be an interesting approach. I certainly learned something from today’s process.
And there’s the even riskier approach of headlining something on first post: Big deal, this matters more than usual, please read! I’m not sure I’m ready to run that experiment just yet.