Paul.E.Bailey’s World – A Little Help from Myself…

Hello friends, bloggers and nosey people who pop by to spy on how my life is going. You know you’re out there…

Okay, I’ll get right to the crux here. A while back (November 2nd 2016 to be precise), I typed up a post named A Little Help from Your Friends… where I called out those people who call themselves friends, but can’t seem to find the time to do the slightest thing to support my writing endeavours. It made sense to a lot of people and they agreed that doing the minimum to support a person who’s supposed to mean something to them shouldn’t be a chore in the slightest.

I recently had an epiphany when I realised that I was wrong. I was so, so wrong! Here is why.

My friends do not have an obligation to support me. They do not have an obligation to read through my stuff, pretend that they have read it or even click on the link just to add a cursory view to my stats. They aren’t obligated to me in any way.

I love writing and I love reading the posts of other people. I’ve been into this whole literature malarkey for nigh on twenty years. It’s my thing. It’s my niche. It’s my dream. It is not theirs! They don’t care about this in the same way I do. To me, it’s everything while it probably means nothing at all to them. There’s no reason it should mean anything to them. They have their own dreams to pursue.

That doesn’t mean they don’t want to see me succeed though. I’m quite sure they’ll be delighted for me if…when I realise my dream of getting published. Their inability to click on my posts is not a desire for them to see me fail. It’s just a case of them getting on with their own lives. The world doesn’t revolve around me. There are probably ways I could support some of them that I don’t even know about.

There’s the fact that Facebook doesn’t actually show every post from every person you’re friends with. There are probably people on my Facebook that would really like to read what I post, but because we haven’t interacted much on there, they won’t actually see my posts on their feed. That’s hardly their fault. There’s an awful lot of stuff I won’t see for that same reason. I invited everybody to like my page and very few did, but some people told me they never saw the invite in their notifications. That’s more than likely true because Facebook really isn’t the most reliable tool. So there’s probably many who didn’t get/see the notification. Then there’ll be those who simply don’t want the added clutter in their feed, which is fair enough. My feed is littered with nonsense because of groups and pages so I’m very selective about the ones I join or like.

It’s no big deal some friends aren’t reading what I post at all because something else has happened that is miles better than people clicking on my links for the sake of doing so.

I’m getting actual fans of my work who like it because they think it’s good! Nobody has strong-armed these people into clicking on my blog or posts just to give me a boost. They’ve done it because something about my blog has intrigued them and they’ve come along to check it out of their own accord. That is a tonne more flattering than a friend blowing smoke up my arse! Yes, some friends really like what I post and enjoy reading, but they no longer need to feel obligated (if indeed they do) to support me because I’m meeting like-minded people on WordPress all the time. People who genuinely love the world of literature like me. Their critique is that much more invaluable because they’re in the same zone as I am. If a good writer likes my stuff then it’s got to be good!

I think this revelation has partly triggered my latest deepening of affection towards writing. Because I’ve shed myself of that irrational bitterness towards friends unprepared to do my bidding, I’m no longer in a place where I’m thinking “what’s the point”. I’m now just thinking “I can’t wait to see this idea become something physical”. I’m having so many ideas that I struggle to keep up with them a lot of the time. I’m finding myself wanting to create things rather than write non-fiction, which of course won’t come as a surprise to most of you.

I think it would be the right thing at this juncture to thank all of those who are supporting me; people who discovered my blog, liked what they saw and became friends along the way. You’re the ones who have made this journey what it is. I was unwise to post about how poor my friends are for not doing what I vainly believed they should be. I had no right to feel so entitled. I should have been concentrating on further endearing those who really want to read my work.

Consider this my promise to appreciate you; my followers, supporters and blog friends; so much more than I have because I now realise this was all about you all along and not those people who don’t give a damn about writing. They aren’t in the wrong for that. I was in the wrong for trying to make them feel bad for it. To those friends who have been supporting me by clicking on the odd post, I thank you profusely, but you no longer need to feel obligated to do so. You don’t need to prove your friendship to me. I know it’s there regardless of whether you visit my blog or not.

There’s something liberating about having an epiphany like this. I’m currently writing this on January 24th 2017 (WHAT?! YOU PREWRITE THESE THINGS?!), exactly five months after my first blog post and it almost feels like I’ve grown up again. Like I started this journey as an inexperienced child and I’m growing, learning and maturing with each post. I’m getting braver. I’m posting less of what I think people might like and more of what I feel like writing. It’s obviously working in my favour. Let’s face it; nobody likes a person who panders to the crowd! We all want to see writers being themselves and not just doing a quick and easy to amass cheap hits and likes. Of course, we do get those kinds of people, but in the main I’d say we’re a bunch of folk who are pretty damned true to ourselves.

It turns out that help from my friends wasn’t what I needed at all. It was help from myself. It was for me to stop thinking so unilaterally and see the bigger picture. It was for me to realise that this is my journey and that I alone carve out the path. Sure, I’ve had help from new friends along the way, but I’m the one who’s needed to light my own way. Now I’ve cleared the fog I unwittingly created for myself, I can see the destination up ahead. I’m heading there and I hope you’ll all stay on board for the ride.

43 thoughts on “Paul.E.Bailey’s World – A Little Help from Myself…

  1. This is a fascinating revelation, Paul. I just went back and read your post from November, which I hadn’t previously read. I’m not lying when I say I can truly see both sides of your perspective on the matter. There is a part of your first post that I do think rings true, which is that friends ought to support each other in pursuing their life dreams. Now, whether that means feigning interest in the same dreams is another matter, but I do think there is a healthy level of support to be expected. At the same time, I wholeheartedly agree with you in today’s post about how one’s motivation to blog and write needs to come from the inside and not wait upon strangers or long lost acquaintances to help the cause. And I totally, 100% agree that hard-earned genuine followers — you know, the ones who truly engage with posts and have conversations in the comments — are the absolute best. Gaining a new one of those followers makes me happier than gaining ten of what I like to call hollowers (followers who don’t appear to read any of your posts). I’ve been getting a lot of the latter lately. I’ll wake up to a handful of new followers each day, and then I never see their name again. Anyway, I’ll end this tangent here. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hollowers. Love that! I know exactly what you mean. I have 125 followers and never generally accrue more than 10 likes per post. That’s a pretty sad hit rate. But then I can’t really complain as there are only six or seven blogs I pay particular attention to myself (yours included of course) so I suppose it’s swings and roundabouts. I wouldn’t have the time to read the blog of every person I follow and still have time to eat, sleep or breathe!
      I’m not entirely discrediting my first post as I do think some of it rings true, but I think I perhaps should have had more class than to call people out for it. This was a way of saying “I’m fine. I never really needed you after all”, but in the nicest way possible.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Boom, you hit the nail on the head. You have gotten yourself to where you are today. You have generated a fan base through your blog for your creative endeavours. Initially you needed to get your name and your writing out there so the initial post was sort of warranted but now you are standing on your own two feet, gathering new fans and followers who really like your work. These followers would not be there if they didn’t like your work.

    I’ve always been an advocate of your work as I see real talent in you. I love reading your work and eagerly – no not eagerly, I wait in anticipation of your next post, story or views to see what you are going to get me thinking about.

    You keep going bud, I’m with you all the way.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I had a feeling you’d appreciate this, Mr T. You’ve been my rock from day one, even before I started this blog. It’s given me the impetus to carry on and support my own weight to the point where friends unconnected to blogging are no longer necessary to push my name out there. Apparently I never actually needed them at all. That isn’t a criticism of them either. In many ways, I’m grateful that they left me to it as it meant I had to work harder. It feels like it’s paying off

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This is a great post, I do appreciate it very much.

        We talked about this subject a while ago and I think it was mentioned that people will read your manuscripts, blogs and musings if they want to. It’s like your first proof readers, they have the manuscript but, last time we spoke, they hadn’t given any feed back. Those kind of people are bad for you and others like you.

        Your presence on WordPress, Twitter and the Facebook page is drawing like minded people to you these people provide you with inspiration and drive to continue to push yourself with new writings and ideas. Take your zombie story, written as a result of you reading another bloggers short story and realising you can do something with that idea. This is why you have all these followers.

        Me, I’ll always be reading, seeing what you have written. I may not always comment but be assured if there is something I’m not keen on or feel that your standard is dropping I will let you know.

        I’ve almost finished the zombie tale and it’s very good. You have a knack for short stories. I’m looking forward to reading more.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for the compliment! Like you say in your post here, that getting the compliments and recognition from fellow writers is a major boost. I think my low post count is due to my insecurities as a writer. I am coming around though!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I don’t post more than every other day as I don’t want to wind up writing for the sake of it. I’d sooner go with the quality over quantity method. Just post as often as you feel and when you have something you especially want to post about. Nobody but you is applying any pressure so don’t put more on yourself than you feel you can handle

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re one of the people I’m nodding towards when I say about those who like my stuff without your arm being twisted to do so. Your likes outweigh the likes of those just being nice by ten times at least. I feel the support from you and you show it in abundance. It’s what spurs me on to write more and more.
    You’re right about my dedication. It’s a bad day when I haven’t done at least a little work on one of my projects. One thing is for damn certain if a publisher takes me on; I’ll work bloody hard for them!
    Thank you so much for all the assistance you’ve given in the short time we’ve been following one another 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand your sentiments, but I think your first post was bang on. It’s good that you don’t feel you need the assistance of your non literary friends anymore, but imagine where you might be had they actually supported you properly from day one via sharing your posts and so on. The work of but a few seconds and yet it was too much for them. That’s low! They don’t deserve to revel in whatever success you might achieve. Good luck to you Paul.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Fair enough I suppose. I don’t know if you’ve had a similar issue, but I just know I feel much better not being bitter about it. Sure, a few more shares in the first couple of weeks could have helped. However, like I say, I definitely prefer one genuine supporter of my work over lots of people who are doing my bidding because they think they should. That one supporter is a damn sight more flattering and ego boosting to me personally. As for them not revelling in my success, I certainly won’t be turning down any congratulations I receive when I finally get published, but I won’t be doling out free copies either 😉 Thanks for your comment Marcus. Much appreciated

      Liked by 2 people

  5. You made a lot of great points… And I agree completely. This post really opened my eyes and gave me a boost of determination. I truly enjoy your writings and I love being able to watch you reach one rung of success on the ladder of life after another! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much 🙂 I think that’s the best thing about WordPress. We all have a genuine desire to see one another do well in our endeavours. There’s no jealousy or backbiting. It’s good to know that our small efforts; something as simple as a click to view, a like and/or a comment; helps that little bit more to push deserving people on to greater things

      Liked by 2 people

  6. You have always impressed me with your tenacity when it comes to writing. It’s obviously something that you take seriously and I’m sure you will succeed because of it. You have the drive. And of course the talent! 😉
    I agree also about people’s opinions meaning more when they don’t actualy know you in real life. There’s no original connection to muddle the review of your work. It makes a good comment feel that much nicer.
    With your writing abilities you deserve a lot of good comments from strangers! 😄
    Me being the strangest! Llol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very well said! I’m glad you’ve had this epiphany – definitely will make the successes all that sweeter when you’re not holding on to bitterness over friends who may or may not want to read your stuff. I’ve said from the beginning (I’ve been blogging for about 2 years now) that I’d rather have followers that actually WANT to follow me and that’s why I don’t go in for the idea of follow for a follow – it’s not a favour to give, it’s an indication that I’ve seen something about your blog that interests me and I think I’d want to continue to read/keep tabs on you. Some of course I enjoy more than others and follow more closely than others… and I just hope that my followers are of the same mindset. All I figure I’m (or they’re) obligated to do is at least have the courtesy to take a look and decide whether it is something to be followed in return. Sometimes I wish more of my friends followed me closely, but I do still have a fair amount that support me in general even if it’s not always via liking and sharing posts they may or may not see.

    All that being said – clearly I follow you for a reason and this is exactly as you’ve said – like mindedness, similar passions for writing, and the fact that you are a damn talented writer that hooks me in in your stories and leaves me eager to read each post as soon as I notice it’s posted! I do wish you ALL the success; if only for the continued interesting reading material for me 😉😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do go with the follow for follow thing while my blog is still in its infancy as I don’t want to alienate potential readers. The added stats look good and good stats are necessary if I’m going to use my blog to show what sort of a support base I have already when I approach publishers. However, it isn’t a strategy I plan to use indefinitely. There’ll come a point where I won’t just like out of courtesy and clog my email inbox further with what is essentially crap that I have no intention of reading (oh my word, there is a lot of it). Those blogs I like and/or comment on are the ones I read and there aren’t many of them. I’m not really into blowing smoke up people’s arses if I don’t deem their work worthy of praise. Let’s face it, there are clearly a lot who feel the same about me. I have 125 followers and rarely get more than 10 likes per post. For that reason I don’t feel bad about not reading the posts of a large majority of people I follow. Besides, I actually need time to write!
      Thank you for being a devoted reader and I’m delighted that I pass your high bar of what you deem read worthy material 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s true based on my stats I surely have several followers that I think rarely read my stuff… which is a little disappointing to think on, yet the same goes for me I’d rather not my inbox or reader get flooded with things I will never want to read… (I’m sure many of them have that kind of issue – too much to read and not enough time) it would make me miss stuff I do very much want to pay attention to!
        You are very welcome Mr Bailey, it is very much deserved attention, I assure you 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I thoroughly enjoyed that post you shared earlier about getting a bazillion hits in 25 seconds. I can’t say I’ll be doing everything it says as I just don’t have the patience at present, but it’s sound advice. Certainly better than the newbie advice I’ve seen elsewhere which is pretty much all recycled stuff. Very few of it is a perspective from the poster themselves. I’m fast approaching 6,000 hits in under 6 months so I’m doing better than I thought I would. I’m halfway to the number of followers I want when I hit a year of blogging too. Targets being met and exceeded so far. 1,000 likes across all my content is what I want to hit next

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I honestly just had to check mine because I haven’t even kept up with it – but it says I have 12,542 hits at present for about 2 years… and you have already gotten to almost half that in 6 months! Colour me impressed 😊 I have seen some much newer bloggers that exceed my followers or even my expectations of followers in a relatively short time and sometimes wonder what it is they are doing that garners that much attention (not that they don’t deserve it, I just wonder if it’s luck of the draw or they just work a lot harder at getting their blog seen or what have you)… you are definitely well on your way to smashing those goals and exceeding them! I’ll of course help in any way I can, for what little my influence does… but I bet soon you’ll exceed my follower number and I’ll be pleading with you to promote me instead! 😂😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. And despite that, I still find myself frustrated at the rate of growth of my blog. Setting the bar high is what’s got me to where I am though I suppose.
        I know what you mean. It’s like the meme posters I’ve mentioned in the past who get about 100 likes per post and I sort of stare at my screen agog. But then I guess people like stuff that’s succinct. I think we’re reaching a point where we simply have to accept that this is just another social media platform and not a glorious utopia for the writers out there. If there is a haven out there just for people who actually write then I’d like to go to this place.
        I’ll promote anybody’s work if it’s good stuff and you’re doing a damned fine job thus far

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You make a very good point. There’s got to be the elusive writer’s utopia out there somewhere! If you ever find it, please let me know 😊 and thank you … I know I say it every time you compliment my writing in any way, but it means a lot to me that such a talented guy like you thinks so

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This post is ace!!! I have liked your writing from day one 🙂 And I want to see you succeed. 🙂 You make some good points here (as always, yawn!) and I think you are super talented 🙂 I’m glad you’ve had this epiphany and turned everything on it’s head. You will shine Mr 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was so stupid for making that post in November. If I could take it back then I would. I suppose I could easily just delete it, but I want to leave it there to remind myself of how far I’ve come.
      It goes without saying that the thanks contained within include you. You’ve been inspirational since you turned up in my little (but ever expanding) world.Whatever success I achieve shall be in part attributed to you and your input and support. I learn from each person I come across and you’ve taught me a lot both through your writing and our interaction

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I am so pleased to read that Paul 🙂 Certain people just get under your skin and offer invisible hands to help you get to where you wanna be. It’s nice that we can support each other that way 🙂 Mutual inspiration 🙂 I won’t forget my blogger pals like you because you have raised my confidence and self-belief, strengthening my attitude that I can achieve all my hopes and dreams! I can’t repay you for that. I’m not a fiction buff like you are. I am largely ignorant about the fiction world that you want to break into, but I know good writing when I see it 🙂 If it captures and keeps my attention, and inspires emotion, that is how I judge it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’ve pretty much said it all there. The fact that you don’t dig fiction but still find my work worthy of supporting is massively flattering. What I like about us both is that though our blogs are worlds apart in terms of content, we have a similar mind-set about our respective writing in that we stay true to ourselves and don’t allow people to tell us what we do is wrong. That gives us two of the most unique blogs on WordPress and I think that’s something worth raising a metaphorical glass to.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Cheers!! Clink 😊😂 Yeah I agree. Authenticity is everything. Your fiction is not like other fiction I’ve read, which is maybe why i like it and my blog is quite unique too. There is no one that slams it all down on the blog table quite like it do 😂 I actually quite like disabling comments sometimes as I write for me without having to incorporate any feedback from outside that distorts my finished product in later posts. Congrats 😊 Double clink.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I am about to publish something about flamingos…now that is unique 😂 I don’t know why I put my copyright notices on as I wonder who’d want to plagiarise a badly drawn flamingo and pass it off as their own haha 😁😂

        Liked by 1 person

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