Confession time: I sometimes feel like a fraud when I identify myself as a writer.
Sure, I have a decent portfolio of published articles – but is that enough? Do I have to actually complete a novel to be considered an “authentic” writer? Until then, am I just a bored 20-something who offers millennial-esque advice with a sprinkle of cynicism? (Confession #2: Often times, I can’t even practice what I preach. So if I wasn’t already a fraud, I definitely am now.)
Well, that’s enough tearing myself down for one article – let’s get to the point, shall we?
Internet writing is vastly different than other types of traditional writing, for very obvious reasons. As exciting as it is to receive positive feedback and see your exposure increase, there are several hidden struggles that come along with being an Internet writer. Here are a few of them.
1. No matter how popular you may become on the Internet, you will forever be referred to as a “blogger.”
I don’t know about you, but I personally wince when people ask me how my “blogging” is going. When I hear the term “blogger”, I automatically think of an amateur WordPress blog with the sub headline “Basic betch and proud of it.” That being said, I don’t necessarily want to refer to myself as a “published writer” either – because that just sounds the slightest bit snotty.
In the simplest of terms, you’ll either come off as thinking you’re the shit – or just being perceived as actual shit. (Didn’t I tell you I have a way with words?)
2. You’re so vain, you probably think this article is about you.
In all fairness, most of the time it is about you. (Even though I told you it wasn’t.)
Other times, you’re simply writing about a topic that may be more universal to your generation. Maybe you write an article about casual dating, and all of the trials and tribulations that go along with it. Well, things might get awkward when the boy toy of the moment skims it and thinks you’re bashing him. Or (more likely, since he only pretends to read your articles), you’ll irrationally agonize over what he MIGHT think, and end up censoring more than you originally wanted.
This type of issue particularly presents itself when you want to truly delve into a bad experience. Sometimes, it ends up being a risk you’re willing to take. Other times, you hesitate. You want to be raw and edgy – but at the same time, is it worth drawing more attention to the situation, and potentially reopening a door that you would prefer remained closed forever?
3. You’ll wonder if you’re wasting your time.
If you’re like me, you don’t only write for readers – you also write for yourself. It can be a great source of stress relief, as well as a way to express yourself healthily and gain clarity in the process.
However, sometimes I’ll panic – What if I’m only writing for myself? Regardless of the “likes” and “shares”, are people truly reading what I have to say? Am I making a difference, or putting all of my effort into something that truly goes unnoticed?
These negative thoughts can be debilitating – and it’s important to not let them get to you. In these moments, it’s important to focus on the fact that you’re doing what you love – and whether you’re “Internet Famous” or not, sharing your passion is something to celebrate in itself.