Steinbeck pictured in sanguine mood despite not having any WordPress followers.
In a rare moment of sober reflection the other day, it occurred to me that had John Steinbeck been a WordPress contributor he would have remained unread, undiscovered, unheard-of, unloved, and in my opinion, absolutely unperturbed.
I make this somewhat bold statement based on the fact that the great man was a rather shy and distinctly humble individual who would have baulked mightily against the rather duplicitous and, for me, wryly amusing, system of plaudit-awarding nonsense that holds sway here.
Ergo, he would have had no ‘followers’, no ‘likes’ and no comments. In short, it would be to the world as if he had never existed. However, I am wholly convinced he would have continued to produce works of great beauty and would have been utterly unfazed by his lack of ‘popularity’ among his contemporaries.
This is because writing was in his soul. It burned bright within him and he needed no plaudits or hearty pats on the back from complete strangers to feed the flame of his genius.
In short, if somebody here tells you that your work is sublime, and waxes lyrical about its great beauty and brilliance, it isn’t, and nor is theirs. If either was the case, neither you nor they would be here. It’s rather unsettling isn’t it my friends?
So my advice is to take pleasure in the act of writing itself, take all the reciprocal accolades with a storage jar of salt, as they are naught but a returned pleasantry. For myself, I neither seek nor require encouraging reassurances that I’m some kind of literary colossus, a gem lying undiscovered beneath a blanket of mediocrity. Indeed, as the mighty Steinbeck himself might well have put it: “I just write my shit and get the fuck out”