Writing is a lonely endeavor. Sure, in your head it’s going to be a daily rush of thrills, your imagination given free rein to explore endless possibilities. The reality… meh – nobody in your real life orbit understands what you’re thinking, why you’re cranky, why you’re near tears struggling to get your story on the page. Eventually I decided, I needed to talk to people who understood how my mind worked.
Since I’m a proactive kinda gal – I turned to social media, Facebook in particular, to meet fellow authors, especially those who write in the genre I love. It was a wonderful and exciting time – adding friends, reading their posts, commenting… clicking that little like button. Instant gratification at its finest – I was in love.
Buuuut, and it’s a huge but, it’s easy get lost in the shuffle. And really, it makes total sense… I’m not that interesting. Nope, that’s not me being self depreciating – it’s the honest to goodness truth. Yet I wanted to get noticed by the cool kids on the playground, so I scrolled the feed, liked posts, commented, tried to be funny or witty or wry or interesting… and sometimes I came across like a giant jackass. *shrugs* No helping it, since I’m incredibly shy – I can be a giant dweeb when I try too hard – but when you really get to know me… I’m pretty awesome. 😛 *wink*
Here’s where the “like” comes into play. I seriously went through a sort of bizarre depression due to Facebook. Or rather, due to my own special brand of obsessive compulsive disorder. I needed validation, constant positive feedback. The likes became a lifeline to the world outside my office. When the likes and comments stopped coming my way, due to my jackassedness – I felt isolated, ignored, more lonely than ever before. I had a hard time identifying with anything outside Facebook. It was awful, and I came close to tossing in the towel on the whole shebang over it.
Somehow, I got lucky and stumbled into an amazing group of friends. Kind, nonjudgmental and gracious friends who I will always cherish. They allowed me the time to get past my awkwardness, find my footing, and figure out that it was okay to just be me. I didn’t have to do anything for their friendship, beyond being a friend in return. They have taught me so much, and I can’t ever express how grateful I am without sounding like an overemotional sap.
When I scroll through the feed and I see anyone hurting or lonely or asking for help… I always stop, and respond, and make sure to give them a little extra love and attention. In a way I’m paying the kindness forward, but not really, because I gain so much by doing it. I’ve met more amazing people. Who were just like me and needed someone to hear them. Next time you’re scrolling through your feed, look closer – because you may be missing someone awesome.