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Time to say Goodbye

reflection

By Kari McLeesePublished 5 months ago 3 min read
5
Time to say Goodbye
Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

I believe this will be my last year on Vocal +.

When I first joined, I imagined I would be able to get enough reads to cover the costs of the membership, or closer to anyway. Alas, this has not been the case, and I simply cannot afford such unnecessary expenses. I've cancelled other subscriptions and things in order to cut costs, but have been reluctant to cut this. Now I think it's time. My membership expires in November, and I will not be renewing it.

That being said, I have enjoyed being a Vocal + member. Before hearing about Vocal, I experienced some major writer's block. My work is mostly poetry, though I've tried my hand at short stories, and have had ideas for a novel or two, but those have never gone far. I've always been a bit of a sporadic writer, feeling inspiration hit at the oddest times and then going months or years without writing anything. Every New Year's Eve I would make resolutions about dedicating more time each day to writing, even if it was short periods. It would last a few weeks, maybe even a month or two, and then life would inevitably get in the way and other responsibilities would take priority. Vocal + has helped me work through some of this. It's given me some new ideas and inspiration, and provided a bit of an outline for more discipline in my writing. I have written more in the past few years than I had for a long time. I have tried to enter as many contests as possible. It felt good to have a creative outlet again. It was also somewhat demoralizing.

I know I'm not some fantastic, dazzling writer. I have never thought I was. But I thought I was good. Good enough to take some pride in it anyway. But being a Vocal + member has made me doubt this. Firstly, I often have difficulty completing pieces for contests. I think I have good ideas, but then lack either the time or the inspiration to finish. Secondly, I've gotten hardly any reads. No one has taken notice of me. Now, getting attention was not the reason I joined. I've never cared about people liking my writing. I don't write for them, I write for me. And yet, the fact that I haven't gotten much attention makes me feel like I've failed. Like my stories and poems aren't good enough for people to read. Like I'm not nearly as good as I thought I was. It's a shot to an ego I didn't know I had. I look at the Vocal home page and see the featured stories or people under the "Creators We're Loving" heading and wonder why. Why them? Some of them have very few stories posted. So what makes them so special? Or, more worrisome, what am I lacking?

This self doubt has almost stopped me from even writing and entering contests. After all, what's the point? And then I remind myself that the point is simply this - to write. To write because I love it. To write because it feels good and right. To write as a creative release. To scribble my mind and heart and soul on to that page and not care that no one may read it or like it. To write for me.

I resolve to make the most of my time left on Vocal +. To use the contests as inspiration to help work through writer's block, and as a tool to help discipline my writing and to learn about and explore new forms. I hope to enter as many contests as possible in my time left. And I will do it just for me. I will not be constantly checking how many reads or likes I have (or I will try not to anyway). I will not care what's in my wallet. I will not look at the home page.

I will just write.

Vocal
5

About the Creator

Kari McLeese

teacher, wife, mom, bibliophile

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Comments (3)

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  • Natalie Wilkinson2 months ago

    I can understand this, I mainly continue on Vocal for two reasons. I feel it is a good place for incubation of ideas. I keep many of my drafts here, even when I end up publishing them elsewhere. For some reason it is an easy place in which to write for me. Then, the challenges have led to some exciting beginnings of things I can take further including two potential novels. But honestly, I have not "made money" on Vocal, I rely on another platform for that. I have also found it difficult to garner an audience here. I think Vocal is still struggling to identify its purpose, but I believe it still has the potential to benefit creators.

  • Joe O’Connor2 months ago

    I like how honest you are in this piece Kari, and you are able to critique your own intentions with Vocal clearly. "It's a shot to an ego I didn't know I had. "- I feel you on that one. It's hard not to take things personally when your entry doesn't place, or doesn't get the recognition you feel it deserves. I think getting enough Vocal reads to cancel out the cost of an annual membership requires a big effort in terms of time and energy, because you need to be constantly engaging with other writer's work, so that they find your own. That can be really hard to do if you work or care for others or simply have other stuff going on! I've only just figured that out in the last few months:/ I think your self-awareness around creating discipline through writing on Vocal is great, and that's something I've found it helpful for too. Hope it all pans out whatever you do!

  • Andrei Z.4 months ago

    You've come to the best possible conclusion! And for writing, one does not require Vocal+ memberships. Regarding the issue of (not) being noticed and gaining reads, the most certain way to fix it is interacting with other Vocal creators:-)

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