I had a thought this evening, brought on most likely by a discussion I was having with some friends over text message and I thought I would like to discuss it...as much as a blog post can be considered "discussing it".
side note: have more and more of your friends left social media and gone to simple texting? I am finding more and more of my friends are doing this.
My friend was lamenting that he had been creating something and mailing it (yeah, that old fashioned thing involving putting sticky stamp on it) and almost no one was giving him feedback. He took the time to not only create something, but also print it, snail mail a physical object to people, and few could take the time to merely say "Thanks." I mulled over this most of the ten hour day today at work and as I took the dogs out for their evening walk, it hit me, "Fuck, I am that guy too."
As a creator that sort of affirmation is like air. I am guessing if you are a creator, I am preaching to the choir here, but for that do not, let me see if I can explain. Even if you charge for your work, or perhaps especially if you do not, the feedback is often worth more to creators. Simply knowing that you breathed something into existence and someone, even if only a few, found it worth or simply said a "Thank you" can mean success to creators. For non-creators I think this can be hard to understand.
I wonder if today's world where so very much is available at our fingertips has caused us to truly no longer appreciate the work others do. Perhaps we are too busy? Perhaps we are all assholes? I don't know but I can tell you that a regular post on my blog gets well over 200 to 300 hits on average after they are posted, then over the next typically end up around 600-700 unique hits. Guess how many comments I get? Typically around 2-3.
Now, back to where I said I was one of those assholes too. People post to their blogs, on social media, insta, twit, itch.io, and a host of other means, I read these, look at these, and rarely comment. Yes, I am exactly who I am describing as well.
So, what am I going to do about it? I am going to take the remainder of October, and anything I download (damn I am addicted to itch.io), blog post I read, pdf I buy, any letter I receive in the mail, I am going to say "thank you", post a comment, or holy shit! write a letter back.
side note: Damn it, getting something GOOD in the mail is such a rarity these days. I will stand in front of my mailbox, open a letter, and read it right there. That a person took the time to write something on that ancient artifact called paper, put a stamp on it, and dozens if not hundreds of people worked to bring it to me, is just mind blowing.
I challenge you to do the same.* If nothing else, just be human and converse, say "Hello", "Thank you", and all that other good stuff we used to do back before our politics began to split us asunder.
* And I don't just me on my blog, stop by the ones you regularly read, make a comment or two. #BeHuman