Recently a follower messaged me and asked my why I don’t write a lot of metaphysical spirituality articles like I used to in years past instead of all the fiction I’ve been putting out recently.
My immediate knee-jerk response was that I really, really, really enjoy writing fiction. It makes me happy.
But that question made me think (always a dangerous thing). So I decided to undergo an experiment.
I had just finished writing a short fiction piece. I published it then immediately went into my drafts folder and published a metaphysical spirituality piece that had been sitting in there for a while. I never publish two pieces so close to each other but I did it for reasons of research.
Nine hours later I checked my stats page. To my surprise I saw that both pieces had exactly 10 views (fairly typical). But when I looked further at the stats I saw that there were a few glaring differences…
The metaphysical spirituality piece:
10 views, 5 reads, 50% read ratio, and 7 fans clapping
The short fiction piece:
10 views, 10 reads, 100% read ratio, and 2 fans clapping
So what does the nerdy, logic-based left-half of my brain conclude from this?
Who the fuck cares?
What I conclude is this: What the hell does it matter?!
Do we write because we are expressing from our heart and our imagination? Do we write because it makes us feel good to put that energy out there? Do we write because we are utterly compelled to? Do we write because that is how we move energy through us? And because that is how we keep the flow going? Do we write because we derive joy by doing so?
Or do we write for the audience? For the followers? For the feedback? For the money and the goddam stats?
The second we click on the stats page we are immediately sucked into the nerdy, logic-based left-half of our brain. It’s the very, very, very worst place for any creative artist to be.
Don’t write for an audience, whether real or hoped for. Don’t write for the reader. Don’t write in hopes of paying the electric bill. WRITE FOR THE STORY THAT WANTS TO COME OUT!
And screw the goddamed stats page! My advice is to not check the stats page more than once a week — just to check to see if your electric bill might get paid. After all, we need electricity to plug our laptops into in order to keep writing. Right?
If you’re going to write and publish an article on Medium get the goddam fucking hell out of the nerdy, logic-based left-half of your brain and write from your heart! That will bring more joy to you than any statistic ever will!