Impossible journeys

one_wordWhen I first started this blog back in April 2012 I had absolutely no plan whatsoever. I had tried blogging for a few weeks back in January 2011, but it didn’t work out because I couldn’t find any readers.

The thing is, the Internet is pretty much a bizarre world. Yes, you’ve got millions and millions of people, so the potential is there, but at the same time you can’t stop asking yourself how on Earth are all these people going to find you among so many others who are doing kind of the same thing?

So, instead of focusing your time and energy on what you’re doing, you keep trying to find something unique and brilliant, something no one else has ever thought of doing before.

When I first started blogging I knew that I would never give up. Don’t ask me why, I just knew. I didn’t know what I would write about, but I knew I’d try to write almost daily about something. After all, there’s always something to write about if you search. Anyway, I had no real plan, I just knew I wanted to self-publish a bunch of books.

At first, as it was expected, no one read me. My first few blog posts, I wrote a few book reviews, set up an account on Goodreads, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. I connected with my old followers on Wattpad, but that was pretty much it.

And it did seem like an impossibly difficult journey. I simply couldn’t understand how successful bloggers such as David Gaughran, The Bloggess, or Catherine Ryan Howard could possibly have become so successful. You see the number, those tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, but it feels like a vague concept.

You understand the number, but not its meaning.

And, at first, when you’re getting a handful of likes and comments, it does feel meaningless. You write a brilliant post, and you want the entire world to read it. You want it all, and you want it now, but you only get two or three comments.

That’s when you have to force yourself to keep going.

Perseverance is one of the rarest qualities in humans.

Things will soon pick up, as long as you’re consistent. As long as you write what you want, and stay true to whatever it was your readers saw in you.

That’s it, actually.

I know people want to know how to write, when, and what kind of software to use. I know people want the easy way, and they want the fastest way too. But there’s no such thing.

I write short essays about what it means to be an artist. I sometimes write about different stuff, that I either witness or experience, but I’m mostly an artist’s artist. I write about the process and the struggles, and for whatever reason, people like it.

That’s all I know. Other than that, yes, I’ve wanted to give up, especially when I found myself involved in too many things at once, or when I was forced to work part time as a waiter, or when a book launch didn’t go as planned. Sometimes it felt like standing still, other times it felt as if the road was just too long.

Probably that’s when you simply have to stare back and see what you’ve accomplished so far.

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79 comments on “Impossible journeys

  1. Thanks for the blog Christian. I am currently trying to find an audience for my blog, which is less than two months old. I’ll keep plodding along.

  2. sunnymatilda says:

    Hi Cristian thanks for this post, it was good to read as I’ve just started blogging myself. I’ve followed you on Instagram and Twitter, and liked your Facebook page, hope that helps you reach your goal. T: @sunny_matilda F & IG: @sunnymatilda

  3. I can relate to this…it’s not very fulfilling if you’re the only one reading your posts lol. I am new to blogging, and have been new to many things in life before, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt more like a rookie then I do in the internet writing arena.

  4. As a new blogger myself, i find it very inspiring and motivating. I’ll try not to give up !
    So, thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom :)

  5. [ Smiles ] I am glad that you didn’t give up.

    You have managed to accomplish something wonderful and meaningful!

  6. lenkennedy says:

    Good stuff. Keep on.

  7. Moose Winans says:

    Great advice here Cristian…I appreciate your perspective. All the best!

  8. Opalla says:

    You are still an inspiration to me, Christian.

  9. It was the same with me. When I first started blogging, I had very few views, let alone followers, likes or comments. I thought about giving up many times in the first year alone. But after the 1-year anniversary of the blog, things started to pick up. I passed multiple milestones, and now I’ve got nearly 16K views and 380 followers. I kept at it, and I’m proud of the results. Hopefully with time I’ll be able to expand my audience even more and possibly get a lot of people interested in my published fiction (God willing). Until then, it’s just a matter of typing one word after another in a coherent narrative that speaks to a wide variety of people.
    At least, I think that’s how it works. There are so many dynamics to blogging and being good at it, let alone successful at it, a sociologist could write several theses on it (there are probably a couple already about it).

  10. mommyemu says:

    Thank you so much for this post very inspiring

  11. ladyharvey says:

    This was the blogging pick me up I needed! I just started blogging a month ago I was super excited to get ten followers then twenty. Then no one else started following me. I keep telling myself to keep on going and treat each new follower and a new comment as an exciting thing, not a disappointment there aren’t more. I saw several other new bloggers reply to this and I wanted to add that I have started doing several writing challenges and those have been very helpful in building an audience. That’s my two cents worth:)

  12. rosellezubey says:

    Thanks for your post Cristian. It was really perfect for what I am going through right now. I have only been blogging for two months. I’ve watched the likes really dwindle so I was getting discouraged. Your advice not to give up was really perfect and timely for me. Thanks very much!

  13. dental eggs says:

    We are all writers of worth. All of us. Great piece.

  14. Terese says:

    Wonderful post and thank you for sharing. I love to blog and feel the same as you, I don’t ever want to stop! I try not to concern myself with numbers, TRY, I know it will turn into whatever God wants to make of it. Keep up the good work!

  15. misfit120 says:

    Same here. I write comedy each day and sometimes ask myself why. But, it’s a self rewarding thing. It gives me a sence of accomplishment regardless of the amount of readers each day. Keep up your good work.

  16. Thanks for the encouragement and best wishes on reaching your goals soon!

  17. Thanks for the pep talk Christian. I’m been feeling like this recently. Like I’m standing still. I’m trying to get my blog and Facebook page out there but it’s certainly a long game and one you have to keep plodding away at. But I’m not about to give up :o)

  18. skirnirh says:

    I try not to let the lack of readers get to me when I blog. But sometimes it does, I have to say. My blog is a deal blog site related to a localized area and I moved last year, for my husband to take on a new job and had to hand my old blog to my friend/blog partner and start a new one for my new area. The new area just doesn’t seem as into couponing and such, so it is growing much, much slower than the old one did. Still working at it though.

  19. Very inspirational post, Cristian! All bloggers, regardless of experience or success level, can benefit from the points you made. Blogging truly is all about consistency, determination, and embracing our uniqueness.

  20. Woo Who, Cristian! Butterflymumma got to be the 2,997th “like” on your Facebook page. :D You should crack 3,000 any minute now! Cheers!

  21. prosona says:

    Chris u are always great in supporting other people in ur blogs… Thanks very much

  22. “Perseverance is one of the rarest qualities in humans.”
    True to everything in life, and perhaps even more to artistic journeys, including a writer’s journey.
    When we don’t abandon our writing because it is too hard or our blogging because we have only a few followers, we will ultimately meet the pure joy of reading a sentence that makes our heart beat faster or spot a ‘like’ that means we have touched someone. Doesn’t happen every day, but working toward that moment is worth the effort.
    Thank you for helping us to keep up with our work.

  23. jiche says:

    Im new to blogging as well. To be honest Im lost with WordPress.i could not see my works.anyway,patience…I’ll get there i know

  24. Ms. Roz says:

    Hello Christian…I just started blogging and reading this is definitely inspiring to say the least. I went to school for what seemed like forever, 8 years, during which time I fully immersed myself in excelling as a student. After working so hard, I graduated this past April and I found myself with 2 bachelor degrees, one in Anthropology and one in Asian studies, but no job. With little in the way of promising prospects I decided to throw caution to the wind and throw myself into what I had always had a passion for: writing. Reading your words has given me an extra burst of motivation for which I am truly grateful. May you continue to inspire and create/realize your goals. ^_^

    • I have quite a lot of friends who just graduated and have absolutely no idea what they’re going to do next. It’s strange, because no one actually told them how difficult it would be to find a job.

      I, on the other hand, have always known what I wanted to do (ever since I was thirteen): I wanted to be a writer. Nothing else really made sense, and I’m a bit crazy, so I was never too keen on making compromises.

      In a way, I believe that if you have a passion, it would be a shame not to pursuit it, especially when there are so many around us who don’t really know what they want or what they love doing.

  25. Antypasti says:

    Inspiring story. 3000 likes and still hungry :) I have always blogged for myself and sometimes people like it so its cool :)

  26. jargonette says:

    Great perspective, Cristian. The online world is a phenomenal and sometimes frightening, global space. Often I have missed the feeling of a pen in my hand and the smell of fresh paper. It has only been recently that I have uncovered the offerings of this medium and the potential it has to unleash art and opinion that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

    Tremendous to see how well you have done. I’ll continue to tune in and read whatever it is you have to say.

  27. Erin Granat says:

    Have you read Flow and The Art of Creativity by Mihaly Somecrazylastname? You’d dig it.

  28. lauraeflores says:

    It’s good to read about the journey of fellow writers, perseverance has become my mantra lately.

    • And trust and courage. And a lot of hope.

      A lot of people will tell you that certain external factors, such as luck, are extremely important. Well, I’m not sure that talent is really that important, or even as important as determination. After all, if you keep doing what you love, it doesn’t matter if it takes you longer than anyone else, it matters that you’ll get what you want.

  29. This post is really relevant to where my blog is. I’ve just started it, mainly just to get my experiences of traveling the world out into the world and to help others who want to do the same but I to had no idea how anyone would find me. It’s hard convincing people to read you when there are so many other options out there.

  30. SJ O'Hart says:

    I have been writing my blog almost as long as you have, and I’ve got a fraction of your followers. So, well done – you clearly know what you’re doing. :) Good luck for the future. I’m looking forward to keeping up with your artistic journey for a long time to come.

  31. This is such an inspiring piece. Especially to new bloggers out there such as myself who are still trying to find an audience of their own. I will always keep perseverance in mind. Thanks!

  32. claidig says:

    My aim wasn’t initially to gain readers, I just wanted a platform to voice ideas during my last year of uni, and if I did it was (and still is) a bonus. But in the summer past I altered my aim. I wanted to be heard, I wanted an audience. It was hard but I met it and with each month that goes by I will reset my aim so I can meet it again. It’s a great feeling achieving goals :)

  33. KittyVoices says:

    This is a very inspiring post, and largely applicable to other aspects of life (beyond blogging) as well!

  34. Allison Andersen says:

    Thank you for this. Feels like encouragement.

  35. Thanks for this. Trying to get my blog going. Your early experiences are what mine are!

  36. rhchatlien says:

    Thanks for the encouragement to keep persevering. I can’t support you financially right now, but I did like your FB page.

  37. Me too, Am still struggling to get the “right ” words out in order to attract the readers “out there”.
    Thanks for the inspiration Cristian.

  38. Chas Spain says:

    Keep writing Christian – but try not to end up looking like the guy in the painting. (Looks a bit like a boss I had!)

  39. Noel says:

    Thanks for this…I’ve had similar thoughts to how things were for you myself lately, what with my recent posts. I’ve been so intermittent due to life events that I haven’t really had the readership I used to, which was meager to begin with. Thanks for being a part of that readership though. Just have to keep posting more and moving on.

  40. Noel Quiles says:

    That post from “Noel” is a post of mine by the way, I realize I wasn’t logged in.

  41. This is great encouragement to a new blogger so thank you – and great to read the comments too.

  42. Thank you so much for this blog post. I have been feeling really discouraged lately, and this was just what I needed to hear. It takes time and perseverance to develop a blog and its following. I just need to remember that.

  43. Ms. Roz says:

    Thank you. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved staying up late at night reading and coming up with stories of my own. Somehow along the way though I let myself be pulled into the idea that I had to do something bigger than that, but as I said I’ve started to see that like you said there is nothing greater than following your passion. ^_^

  44. Richelle says:

    Really nice blog. I also feel that way. But knowing someone could surpass that state in blogging then i could give my self an inspiration to continue and believe i can also do it. Keep up the good work! :-)

  45. Cookie Soul says:

    Nice to look back on your early experience Mihai. I am new to blogging at the moment and I started it accidentally. Never thought of becoming a blogger but it is such a fresh experience!

  46. mahrukhahsan says:

    I’m new to the blogging world. And i’m going through that phase where no one reads what you wirte. But your blog has motivated me to keep going and try harder. Thank you so much :))

  47. It takes time for you to build an audience. I too had a slow start. Not so many folks out there like goats or like them enough to want to see photos and read stories. I just kept going because there was an audience who love goats and wanted to know about them. then there is now an audience who want to know the updates on my goats. I also add other cultural tid bits for my readers who are not so keen on goats. Also I add its about Swedish culture, which is different and may be me to some of my readers. I have a story to tell, many stories and I now have a very good following. So happy with my readers and welcome new ones all the time. So hang in there!

  48. This is so inspiring. I am still an amateur writer and artist and it’s so hard making my way through the complex web of the internet. For now, I have high hopes that someday many will believe in my creations. Kudos to you!

  49. lisbethk says:

    Thank you for the post, it was interesting and, as others pointed out, really inspiring.

  50. D says:

    Thank you. I have just started a blog, and find yours so encouraging. I hope to connect with like minded people who are on their artist’s journey. The uncompromising and tough path, littered with jagged rocks and poisonous spiders where there are unexpected sunrises, sunsets, cloud formations, mists and mountains that serve to hold speech and urge us onwards is something extraordinary and lonely, and wonderful to share with those on a similar path.

  51. Amy says:

    Thank you for the comments about perseverance. We all need a reminder sometimes.

  52. mctiller says:

    So other than perseverance, is there something you did different this time around?

    • Well, I was lucky enough to be Freshly Pressed twice. Then I was reblogged and retweeted and mentioned by some really cool people/websites, such as euronews and Random House.

      And I also think I found my subject matter. I write about the artist process without wanting to teach people how to make art. And it’s something I’m really passionate about.

  53. Stilletta says:

    Thanks for the words. I too started a blog not having a plan. But at first I didn’t stick it out. I now have a purpose. I want to write for me. I love to write and it doesn’t matter if one or one thousand people read it. I just need to keep going. @StilettOoDiva

  54. Thank you so much for this post. I struggle with everything you mentioned so this post has been both very encouraging and very inspiring. One of the most inspiring posts I have read to date. Thank you!

  55. Thanks for this.

    As a new blogger I can use all the encouragement I can get. I have a nearly completed manuscript – a memoir/self-help book about how to mend a troubled marriage. Little did I know that writing the book would be the easiest part of the journey. (Writing a book and easy really don’t belong in the same sentence!)

    I thought these were the hurdles:
    Write book
    Get agent
    Find publisher

    I had no idea that between #2 and #3 is: develop a base of loyal followers.

    Now I’m writing a blog and entering the social media world.

    Some days it feels like being in 7th grade and waiting to be chosen for softball. Other days it’s fun- especially when I’m writing.

    I’ve come to believe that it’s a war of attrition. We face hurdle after hurdle. Those who make it are those who don’t quit. I do not plan to quit.

  56. Hi Christian, your words have come at completely the right moment for me, not just for my blogging but for my bigger artistic vision. Thanks for the inspiration! Nic

  57. Bravo. It may or may not surprise you to know how many people’s experience aligns identically with yourself. Keep the daily dose of literary pharmacology going.

  58. hya21 says:

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  59. Pristine says:

    Glad to have found your blog! I’m new to blogging myself and it is daunting when you see bloggers with thousands of followers, so it’s nice to read a bit of motivation. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

  60. Definately something that i will come back to read and read and read all over again :D .Sometimes when the hill looks stiff and upward, this is what we need. Thank you Christian

  61. Thanks Christian. First blog yesterday after reading other blogs for 5 years. But the way I look at it is that it is not about others who read because that is self gratifying but the one that you read and it sticks and gets your creativity flowing……thanks for inspiring.

  62. Travelightly says:

    Such a perfect and timely post, articulated in a way that so many of us can relate to. I just re-started blogging after almost a year away for reasons I described in my first post. Now that I am writing as myself, instead of in a way that mimics people whose numbers I was envious of, it is so much better. I just want to feel fulfilled at the end of the day! And you have stated something essential to grasp onto when the chips are down: that you kept at it, writing about what interests you and staying relatively focused on this topic. I think that is an important key. Thank you!

  63. I lose my motivation after a while, feeling like my insight or my story is insignificant. This post re-inspired me to persevere even if I do not get the “hits” and followers I expect.

  64. Well, you touched many sensitive points with that… I really like your constructive attitude.
    You have talent!

  65. shellivs says:

    Never give up whatever your journey is. Im not blogging for the sake of blogging but blogging because I want to make a difference in the world. My physical journey, overland from Australia to Nepal will have some very similar challenges of persistence and determination. Its exciting though and I can envisage many challenges and joys along the way.
    Thank you!

  66. wrinklededge says:

    Now I am thinking I am my best audience. Never thought about it. Hopefully better audience than self critic. Nice to read hear thanks.

  67. Marisa says:

    Very nicely put!

  68. Shayri says:

    That was beautifully written !
    You don’t know how much I can relate to that! Its funny how much joy it gives you to know that even 1 person out there likes what you post…. this blogger has no high hopes to getting to 1000+ ! I am not a true blogger, what ever that means! I just post when and if I feel like it . So it feels great to know someone out there likes it all the same!

  69. 1sparrow says:

    Cristian, I have not read your ebooks but the covers alone reveal an artistic heart. You have to write because it’s part of what makes you tick. Will you make a living from writing? No one can predict that, but you are learning something new with every endeavor you undertake, whether it’s this blog or some other venue. Take heart dear writer, learn and grow in your craft. I believe excellence has a reward.
    P.S. Thank you for following my blog, though I guess it’s more of an essay depot….on an obscure subject…but I am compelled….like you.

  70. Very inspiring. Cheers!

  71. Truly encouraging! A great reminder on persevering and staying true to one’s art!

  72. floreleng says:

    I feels that writing a blog is also a form of showing your thoughts and letting readers to under you better too.

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