Blogging may betray my incessant need for reassurance.
What else are all these like/share/tellmeyouloveme buttons for?
Sometimes I am envious of writers-gone-by who just wrote in the silence, unconnected world of their homes and then waited to hear back eventually from their editor. And then wait to perhaps get a few letters from readers.
I am romanticizing, no doubt.
Sometimes I leave comments on blogs and websites. Don’t you?
Sometimes I get irritated–does everyone have to share an opinion every minute of the damn day? Is creativity and thought supposed to be by committee?
But then that feels undemocratic.
After all, I like being able to express my opinion.
And then there are stats and the great popularity contest in the cybersky. Numbers don’t lie, they say. Sure. Okay. But they don’t tell the truth either. Lying and truth-telling imply motivation and purpose. Numbers just are.
100 people like this!
Only 100 people like this.
Look at the power of that word–only–and the punctuation. (Shouldn’t there be punctuation for the opposite of the exclamation point? The exclamation point is UP! The period is flat. Maybe we need something for down…? Anyway.) The number 100 is still the same in those sentences, but they feel different.
I’ve been reading a lot of interviews, essay, conversations about the numbers of books–publishing industry sales numbers, e-books sales numbers, click numbers, view numbers, friend numbers, dollar numbers. All this obsession for numbers when I thought I was supposed to care about words.
Reminds me of a favorite book–The Phantom Tollbooth. Do you know it and its subplot of the conflict between the cities of Digitopolis and Dictionopolis–which is more important: numbers or words? And everyone except the participants in the battle can see both are necessary.
Popularity would be awesome. Money would pay bills. But what if my stories still weren’t very good? Popularity doesn’t mean good. It doesn’t mean bad either. It means it struck the right nerve at the right time.
Would Harry Potter be as popular if the first book came out for the first time now–post Twilight and 9/11?
But I really want to write a story that means something to someone–even if it really is a ONE.
I’m romanticizing again…
Sigh. Maybe I’ve overdosed on my own stories. (See? I need that anti-exclamation point here.)
How important are numbers to you?