Recently, I have heard (and read) that many people find Thought Catalog’s articles to not be “valuable.” It has been said that they are not worth anything because writers do not receive compensation. In addition, it seems that many find Thought Catalog to be too accepting in terms of the submissions that they publish. Personally, I find this to be a thoughtless conclusion.
It pains me to see that others do not find writing to be valuable, simply because it is not directly correlated to one’s income. In this respect, a writer’s passion for and love of writing is completely ignored. A writer’s reason for writing in the first place is not even considered, especially since it has nothing to do with a paycheck. It is as if people only see the black and white articles on the screen, rather than the human beings behind every word on the page.
Since I started submitting to and being published on Thought Catalog, I have received many positive messages (as I am sure a lot of the writers do). These messages range from simple compliments on my writing to beautiful life stories of bravery and triumph. Knowing that there are still people out there who want to, and even need to, connect keeps me writing. Knowing that there are people out there who feel less alone because of the stories that I share means the world to me. Money cannot buy such feelings.
In addition to messages of positivity, I’ve also received my share of criticism. Yes, I do take the time to read each and every comment that I receive. In doing so, I hope to grow as both a writer and a person. I take each criticism constructively and use it to my advantage. Already, even though I’ve only had a few pieces published here, I feel that I have learned so much, which I plan on using to help me with future articles and with life itself. We, as writers and as readers, can surely grow from sharing our writing with others.
For a significant portion of my life, I was afraid to be myself and put my energy out in to the world. I was afraid because I did not think that I could withstand the criticisms and negativity that come with standing out. After talking with other writers, I have realized that I am not the only one who has experienced these thoughts. Essentially, every piece that we write is like a child, and we do not want to see them get bullied. Now, I am tired of seeing these fears prevent writers from doing what we love: writing, inspiring, and relating to others. I am seeing our voices silenced.
I write my articles because I want to connect with people. I want to let people know that they are not alone in the way that they are feeling. I want to share my stories with at least that one other on this planet who might find solace in them. I love the freedom that writing gives me. I want to receive feedback (that is either constructive or positive) from my readers, in order to better myself and grow as a person. All in all, I want to put myself out there in the hope that the universe will send something my way (and I do not mean money). I want to be able to say that at least I tried. That’s just me, but I am sure that I am not the only writer — not only on this site, and not just on the Internet, but in the writing world in general — that feels this way.
I believe in my writing and doing what I love. I also believe in the people that read my articles and take the time to respond in a mature, supportive, and helpful manner. In short, I believe in writing. I have seen the power that this website can have. It allows people to find solace in the writing of others. It allows writers to find an accepting place that is willing to listen to their voice. In short, Thought Catalog allows people to feel valuable.
Now, you be the judge. Is that a valuable thing to do?