Are You a Good Fan and Follower?
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Remember when it used to be OK to like things?
You’d read a book, see a movie, try a new dish … and tell everyone about it.
I’m sure many of you can identify with this cartoon from Sarah’s Scribbles:
I’d venture to say it is why a number of people become writers, or take to the internet to revel in their geekery and fandoms.
Eventually, crashing into conversations with cymbals clanging isn’t “cool” anymore.
As we get to be adults, we somehow desensitize ourselves.
We don’t want to be bothered with such exuberance, unless it is something we can (and want to) be exuberant about.
Knowing that we have such a limited amount of fucks to give on any given day, we can’t waste them on such frivolity.
Which causes a serious dearth of elated feedback and promotion.
Tell me something …
Has someone ever said something nice about your writing before?
I’m seriously hoping that your answer is YES! At least one person in the world has commented kindly on something you poured yourself into and shared with humanity.
Now, let me ask …
How great was that feeling?
I actually keep a “Yay Me” folder in my email, where I save such good notes and thoughts, for those days when I’m feeling like maybe I have no idea how to write/create/run a successful business and life.
So, how often do you tell the writers you are reading that you like their work? How often do you share it?
As I said, this weird gross thing has happened in recent years.
Being online is all about promoting ourselves. World leaders have coined the term “it’s sad” to provide social commentary on actions and initiatives. Somehow, it is better to love something fiercely without ever telling anyone about it, fearing you will appear to be fawning or leaping aboard a bandwagon.
Which is … sad.
I prefer to stick to a simple heuristic, learned from years of travel through airports and public transit:
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.
Seriously, screw all those people who are above you sharing something you really enjoyed.
Who feel the need to cut down what others are doing to … I don’t know … make them feel better about themselves?
Who try to build their own bliss by draining yours.
More importantly, don’t deny some creator the joy of seeing that someone liked their work.
People deserve to know when others are saying nice things about them.
And frankly, these days, it can feel like there aren’t many people saying many nice things.
You can change that.
When you are done reading this edition of TWR, I encourage you to take to your own email/social media/carrier pigeon nest/etc. and tell someone that you love something they’ve made. Share it with your world.
Make a small change in yourself to start gently shifting the world around you.
I guarantee, this is like the movie Outbreak, without the infected monkeys.
When you see something, say something.
Others will follow.