In a single week, two individuals have reached out to me unexpectedly. Folks I know from a long time ago. Some of the smartest, most accomplished people I've met, who have achieved the kind of success I used to dream of. They had the kindest words to say about my literary work. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized we were connected enough for it to be in their visual field. I suppose social media does deserve something besides my disdain. A polite enough timespan later, they asked me something I dread responding to - my advice to help them start their own blogs.
I never know what to say when this pops up. Initially, I respectfully let them know that I'm too casual in my approach, with no strategized thought behind it. My pieces are never planned. One in two months, seven in a week, everything goes. If they're relentless though, I rack my brains to provide something, anything that might assist them. It's my sincerest effort to get them started, but I've never been able to be entirely forthcoming. Because I don't know if they really want to hear what I have to say.
I don't write to be read. Don't get me wrong. I have, in the past. I've written for validation, I've written for attention. I've even written with particular intent, because I'd know exactly who would be at the other end reading. I've done all of that, and I've never regretted anything else more. See, words don't flow unless they're purely, unadulteratedly yours. Forcing them to group together and make sense is grotesque, tyrannical even. Now, all I do is live inside this glass house I made in binary, where everyone is welcome to peek inside, or walk past, as they please. Only, I don't redecorate my home to charm them anymore.
You don't stay up till 4AM trying to help strangers on the internet shape their careers. You don't do it for an extra line on your resume. You don't even do it for money, really. Side hustle, is that what they call it? No. You do it because something is gnawing at you deep within, and it won't let up until it's let out. Words give you a voice. Use them to speak your truth, whatever it might be, irrespective of whoever is listening, if anybody. It's the greatest power we have as human beings, our voice. Let it be your own. Do it justice.