Am I meant to write?

I think all authors think this at some point in their writing career.  I know I certainly have, but not as much as I have today.  Today left me feeling hollow and sad to the point I’m not sure how to react.  It started two nights ago but today took the cake.

What happened a few nights ago?

I sat in on a very informative seminar on blogging.  What to do, what not to do.  Comes to find out, I’ve been blogging all wrong…at least in the context of collecting followers.  I found out that to be a successful blogger, I should be (1) an expert on a topic that affects millions, (2) driven to share that expertise, (3) willing to work my butt off, (4) capable of dedicating myself to growing a blog without earning anything from it for a few months, and (5) must be a passable writer and write to engage.

I apparently lack #1 and #5, at least according to a blogger who was following me and then left today, but not until after she sent me an e-mail that stabbed at my heart.

According to this person, I am not an expert at anything, my posts are boring and unengaging and I’m selfish when posting on other people’s blogs, especially hers.  She also said my writing was sub-par and perhaps I should consider several courses in creative writing.  I then needed to figure out who I’m writing for because it’s not her.  She withdrew her “follow” from my blog and asked I do the same for hers.  I don’t have the heart to do it because I really like her blog.  I guess I can still read but not post anything.

You know, when I embarked on my adventure into blogging, I wasn’t trying to land 1,000 followers in one day.  I set out to write and hopefully touch some people’s lives and expand my ‘friend’ base.  I wanted to make new friends around the world…talk to other writers who are experiencing all the same hopes and fears, highs and lows, all the doubts and joys of success on the road to publication as I am.  I never wanted to come off as selfish in my posts on other’s blogs.  If I was/am…I’m so sorry.

Please understand.  I’m not looking for pity or sympathy.  This is yet another bump in the road, another form of rejection I have to go through to make me strong and resilient, but her words hurt deeply and made me question myself and my writing, as most rejections do.  This, coupled with what I learned about myself in the seminar the other night, left me feeling like I’m floundering.  I see other bloggers who are just starting out and they’re collecting hundreds of followers.  I look at mine and I sit at below 150 after 2 years of blogging.  Those aren’t good stats.  Maybe I AM blogging wrong.  All I can do, though, is blog from my heart. That’s all I know how to do.

Who do I blog and write for?  I suppose I blog and write for anyone who wants to listen.  Maybe I should refocus and blog about writing and reading young adult fiction. Maybe I should do what the host of the seminar said the other night and take down my blog, go through the process of getting 1,000 followers and then relaunch my blog.  Maybe I shouldn’t blog at all.

My brother told me once I excel at being a loser.  After five hours of soul-searching, all I have to say is “You’re wrong.”

Now I just need to convince myself.