I Used To Write For A Plastic Tub

We are a bit spoiled.  Yes?  Yes.

Used to be I sat at home and wrote.  Then I stuck every thing I wrote in a binder.  When the binder was full I stuck it in a plastic tub.  No one saw it.

Then I started using a computer.  I kept everything on a computer, filling up pages and files.  No one saw it.

Now, I write on a blog.  And sometimes ten, fifteen, fifty, maybe even eighty people see it.   In one day.  In one full day.

Through out the day I get these funny and fun little messages saying someone thinks I’m awesome and they decided to follow my blog.  I get lots and lots of them.

But then I look at that little graph of popularity and see that maybe ten or fifteen or thirty people read something I thought was brilliant.  Or funny.  Or emotional.

Then I get sad because only ten, or fifteen, or thirty, or fifty, or eighty people saw something I wrote.

I get a bit of a thrill when someone even likes it by hitting a little button that sends me a message telling me again how awesome I am.

Then someone writes me a response!  Someone takes the time to tell me how something I wrote struck them, made them think, laugh or cry.    And I appreciate the time they gave my writing.

Then I look at that little graph of popularity and get sad again.

Maybe….I should go back to writing for my plastic tub.   It didn’t have a popularity graph.

Wait.

It didn’t have anything.

I would miss those ten, or fifteen, or thirty, or fifty, or eighty people who read something I wrote.

And I really appreciate those people who read.   As much as I appreciate the others who write.

I write.   I need to write.   I used to write and get no feedback.  Ever.  I have thousands and thousands of words that no one has ever seen.

I write.

I need to write.

For every written word there is a thought.    A thought that once shared may produce a myriad of other thoughts.   And what if the one thought you write, is read by one person who finds it brilliant, and it changes a moment, a life, or gives power to the powerless, love to the forlorn, joy to the sad, what if…..

What if the plastic tub held all of my words.  Forever.

That plastic tub is full enough.

I’ll write for me, first.

And then.

For  anyone who so honors me with a moment of their time.

Thanks.

You are much better than a plastic tub.  I mean this sincerely.

42 thoughts on “I Used To Write For A Plastic Tub

  1. [ Laughs ] If you need to write, keep writing! And, guess what? WordPress is the right place for that sort of thing.

    Do enjoy the rest of your day!

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  2. The graphs are marketing ways to gauge potential sales, morphed in a wicked and evil way of stating a person’s worth. I cannot fathom why people ALLOW this.

    There is nothing to show many of the footprints in the world and upon others that are left by our words and our expressions, some of which might just save a life. One will never know this by charts and by graphs.

    In general, for me, it’s all in the expression and sometimes in the identification. It’s part of how it works, at least that is what I do with it.

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    • I enjoy the feedback in the writing. I do get “down” when I think the numbers reflect the importance of what I write. Which is why I wrote this. It is NOT about the numbers. It is about 1) my love of the written word (mine and others). and 2) it is about the sharing of ideas and stories and communication in general. We entertain with words. We learn by words (and teach obviously). We keep track of life. I’m in love with the written word. So I wrote some words today to remind me of that. 😉 Thank you Elisa!

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  3. I think blog success is measured not by stats but by how many people are READING the writer which may be impossible to discern. But if they are returning and leaving comments of quality the writer is being read which signifies success on a different plane rather than book sales. I always taught my students that interaction and engagement must take place with the author while absorbing the text(even with an author of centuries ago). If that does not take place either one is not actually reading or it may indicate the author wasn’t worth reading.

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    • Carl, I feel successful with your comment. I agree, and appreciate you putting in to words what I believe. It is the interaction. The engagement. If I write and there is no interaction or engaging…I do feel like I have failed to make my words do their job. Which just makes me want to write it different, better, or scrap it.

      How long did you teach? This is a lesson I would have liked to have heard years ago.

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  4. Brilliant blog post, Colleen. I know a bit about how you feel. It’s never enough–the stats will never be good enough–no matter how brilliantly we write. Keep at it. You rock, my friend. I still have one of those tubs, too, I’m afraid. Moved it all the way to South America. Now that’s crazy!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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    • Thanks Kathy. I don’t think it’s crazy to take your tubs every where you go! 🙂 I will take mine with me every where. I hope some day my kids, grandkids, or great and beyond grandkids open it and have a good laugh or curiosity about me when they come across it.

      Hugs returned!!!

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  5. I can relate so well, but I must write. If it goes by the wayside, it is still something I felt I had to write, to get out. It is the best therapy ever. keep writing, you are a fine writing, don’t forget that…likes, comments, or none! I think some times other writers are too busy with their own catharsis and that’s ok. Hugs!

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    • I agree. Some days I’m so in to the reading, and reading so much, it’s difficult to stop and respond.

      And I am glad you said that about writing and therapy. I’ve always believed in that.

      Thank YOU for sharing a moment with me.

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  6. A little story about my graphs. I hope it makes you smile. Like you, I’d watch my blue bars hit 20, 50, 80. I was happy but of course wished for me. Sure, I write for myself. But it sure does feel good to realize that my words and thoughts might be making other people think about their own opinions and views. One day last week I shared my thoughts about a singer from a city next to mine who had competed on the TV show “The Voice.” This guy decided to share post my link on his Facebook page. My views on the day he shared went up tenfold. And now I have one very high blue bar on my graph, and all the others are tiny in comparison. But I’m just as happy about my words on the small-bar days. Good luck. Loved your post. It made me think about how I felt about your subject. Bravo.

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    • Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! It’s there to haunt you….and then when enough days go by and it disappears you will kind of miss it!!! 😉

      Sadly it does grab my attention, those little blue bars. But I am happy to say that the feedback gets more of my attention. I used to think the blue bar represents the feedback and or appreciation. It doesn’t! 😉

      Thanks for reading and commenting, I really appreciate it.

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  7. What a delightful way to say thank you! I find every response means something to me. I’m just so delighted to have met some wonderful people along the way and as I care about each one of them, I tend to think I’d be in serious trouble if I had a huge following! LOL! You express yourself so beautifully, Colleen. It’s always a delight!

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  8. Colleen, I am thank you write, I am thankful for the thoughts you give me, and I am thankful for the thoughts you have inspired. As much as you thank us your readers, we are grateful that you have taken the time to share your thoughts with us. Take care, Bill

    Like

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