I don't know if I can actually write.
I'm a new Vocal writer too, and I have only published eight stories so far. If this one gets published, it will be nine.
And I have yet to find my niche, so my stories are all over the place. I have written poems, helpful articles, and fiction stories.
I'm sure many new writers on Vocal can relate. We are here for our own reasons. And oftentimes, not getting views on stories can feel frustrating. Not necessarily because you're not earning anything from your work, I think that is also it, but mostly because that makes us wonder if writing is really our thing.
Now, we are not total beginners. As for me, I have written before, and have been told by my friends that my writing style is simple yet engaging. I think they mean my writing tells a good story coherently, which probably makes up for my lack of a rich vocabulary.
I have seen stories that I don't think are special get a lot of likes and comments on this platform. I have also seen good stories published years ago that never saw the light of the day.
And that is exactly why I have committed to reading a handful of stories from new writers every day.
I open the Communities page and open a handful of communities that appeal to me. Imagine eight or nine tabs opened this way. I then click on the latest stories published in those communities. Imagine two or three more tabs from each community. Most often than not, they are written by new writers, those who have only published a few stories so far and have no likes or comments to show for.
Most of the stories I read this way are written well. When a writer is new to the platform and not focused on living up to a certain persona, I think their stories are vulnerable, raw, and in a way, beautiful.
Meanwhile, some articles I read could do better. If the writer was my friend, I would love to discuss their story with them, appreciate them for expressing their unique perspective, and tell them what I feel would make it better.
Whether I like the story or not, I'm always mindful to leave a comment.
Because as a new writer, I know that feeling. Of writing in the dark, wondering if anyone will ever take notice.
You do want your money and fame somewhere in the distant future, but today, all you want is to be heard. To make people know that you have a story to tell, and that although your way of thinking and perception are different, the underlying experience is common.
I believe that is what writing is all about. When an article or a book is loved by people, it is not necessarily because the book offers a completely new way of life. Rather, it offers a new perspective and stance to a common feeling that has always existed.
Empathy, relatability, love, greed, hate.
The written word is beautiful. It is amazing how writers, new ones included, can play with words and letters that already exist, arranging them in a symphony, to create something valuable that they can call their own.
This is why I read stories on Vocal from new writers every day. And leave a comment I think is thoughtful and empathetic enough.
Just today, I read a story titled "Behind the Scenes of Aesthetic Medicine" from an author "Lived unapologetically". I don't know them personally but looks like they have three stories published on the platform so far.
The story I read is about their journey of overcoming panic attacks as a beauty professional. The story is well-paced and comfortable to read. She narrates how perfectionism and the itch to do more in her industry made her an overthinking and overreaching individual, and how that began to affect her well-being and performance.
She began seeing a therapist and taking short mindful breaks in between her work, which has started working. And the story effectively ends at that, without a dramatic ending or too cliche a moral.
That, among other things, is why the story is beautiful. Unlike her past self, her story isn't overreaching. It is vulnerable, has an aspect of relatability, and is honest. The fact that it doesn't end on an overly dramatic note or with a strong persuasive message makes it realistic, just like how life is.
To appreciate their story, I left this comment:
"Thank you for sharing your experience. So happy that you are feeling better. I want you to know that you're being heard."
I now have nine more tabs open to read stories from other new writers, and leave a comment.
I really enjoyed this! It's awesome that you are seeking out new vocal writers to give their work some love! As a creator that's brand new to vocal, and also new to sharing my work with the outside world (instead of letting it stack up in journals and notes on my computer), it's encouraging to get feedback and truly humbling when someone actually takes time to read your work. You explained very well how vulnerable writing can be. It's sometimes tough to put yourself out there, but small encouragements can make a massive impact and can be the difference between someone giving up or allowing themselves to be seen. Thanks for writing this great piece! It's important!