Today’s one of those days where I think about how most people seem to perceive the Internet. Writing is out, pictures are in. Wherever you look, pictures get a lot more attention than anything written, no matter the quality.
Just yesterday, I wrote a short piece of fanfic and put it up on the forums of the MOBA, in the Community Creations section. At about the same time, someone posted a hand-drawn picture of one of the champions. Suffice to say, it is quite disheartening to see the picture rake in almost four times as many views and upvotes, and almost three times as many comments. Sure, the picture is great, but judging from the comments I received, so is my short story.
I know what they say. Our attention span is short, and pictures deliver instant gratification to the viewers. They can be processed without spending several minutes looking at them. But have we, as a community, really got so shallow that we’re not willing to spend a few minutes reading stories on the Internet anymore? I mean, come on, we read news articles and social media posts all the time. Granted, cat pictures win the day at any time, though.
So what should a writer do? Quit writing and start taking cute cat pictures? Stop worrying about being seen, being appreciated, and just deal with the fact that writers are, most of the time, invisible nobodies who need a different occupation to pay their bills? (Unless you’re Steven King, J. K. Rowling, or one of the other select few who made it big. Kudos to everyone who can live off his writing, who has become a somebody. Really. I envy you, but I’m also very happy for you.)
I’m not sure whether I want that. I have been dreaming about being a writer since I was in kindergarten and started to read books on my own. In my dreams, however, I was not a nobody. I was not frustrated about not being read or appreciated. In my dreams, I didn’t even bother imagining stuff like sales figures. I was a writer. And the writers I knew back then were writers that were published, that reached readers like young me and took them on adventures. And that’s what I want to be: Someone who takes others on adventures. A writer.