If no one was reading, all of us writing on the Medium platform eventually would run out of words, not because we have nothing to say but because ultimately words have value only when someone is reading.
Over the course of the last 6 months or thereabouts, I have had my posts, or my responses to others’ posts, liked, clapped for, or recommended. I have enjoyed engaging with other members — readers who responded to my posts or authors who acknowledged my responses to their posts.
Over the course of the year, I have been perplexed that posts I thought would do extremely well did not perform quite as well as I had expected, and happy when my posts outperformed expectations.
One of my responses to another member’s post that was not liked quite so much though it has been read quite a bit goes as follows:
The author cited the following quote, “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” — T.S. Eliot
to which I responded:
True. But if your head can’t bob up to the surface every once in a while, meaning a little more arm, leg, and torso strength will get your head consistently above water, you are way out of your depth.
In my mind, the image of flailing arms and legs and heads bobbing in and out of the water provided a humorous, hysterical, laugh out loud kind of image, made me chuckle or laugh. I am guessing readers did not quite get the same humorous, hysterical, laugh out loud image in their minds. But this is the essence of sharing our thoughts, sometimes it takes a clarification to make clear our intent.
A post I expected to do well which did not perform quite as well as I had expected is titled, The Conundrum that is Dystopia. I have zero reads on this post on the Medium platform. It would seem dystopian endings are not considered a conundrum by most people.
A post that surpassed my expectations is titled, The Racism Hysteria. I talked about race, but not with rabble rousing hyperbole, more with a “let’s not be hasty, shrill, or hysterical tone.” Given my tone was not the mainstream, I was not quite sure the post would do as well as it has done.
A post that has performed well in line with my expectations is titled, Unbundling the Gripe Against Formal Education. If you have kids and you have not read this post, make it compulsory reading. You will be glad you did.
During the course of the year, I did some Satire (Cancer), Hyperbole or Parable (An Exercise in Observational Fallacy), lots of writing on Christian themes (e.g. What Exactly is the Bible?) and other genres of writing. For the most part, however, I analyzed a particular issue with empathy and ethos, sometimes providing knowledge on the two different sides to an issue (e.g. The Growth Conundrum of Organized Spirituality) so you the reader can decide for yourself what to think, what to do. I do this because I trust you the reader to take ownership of your response to my words. If you have not, I encourage you to check out any one of highlighted posts.
Typically I do not tell my readers what to think, what to do. I provide my thoughts, my recommendations, and provide analyses of and depth of knowledge on an issue. I trust my readers to engage with my words with their own thoughts, responses, or actions.
Back to Appreciation
As we round up 2017 and look forward to 2018, I very much would like to appreciate everyone who has taken time to read at the very least one of my posts —an original post, or response to another member’s post. If you are reading this and we still are in 2017, and you have yet to read any of my posts, there remains time for you to remedy this dire situation. Trust me when I say you will find at least one post that piques your interest.
Thank you for Reading. I assure you I do not take your patronage of my words for granted.
It always is nice to know a writer also reads. Over the course of this year, I have read about three times as many posts as I have written. I write because I believe I have meaningful things to say, all with empathy and ethos. I know, however, that not only are there other voices, but also that our words have more power when there are many of us saying similar things in our own unique ways, with our own unique voices, with our words colored by our very own idiosyncrasies.
If you have read quite a number of my posts this year, I hope you do not tire of my voice; that rather you hope to read more good posts from moi. If you are just getting acquainted with my writing, I hope you check out my profile page and seek out more posts that suit your liking. If this post is your very first contact with my writing, I encourage you to check out my profile page and find a post that piques your interest.
Finally, without the innovation that led to development of the Medium platform, this post and the interaction it facilitates with you the reader would not be possible. I am appreciative of the opportunity the Medium platform has provided for people such as you and I to interact around social or political issues, matters of spirituality, matters of philosophical thought, and matters economic in nature.
As we look forward towards a new year, I hope my words help make your steps lighter, your way brighter, your sight sharper, your mind more astute, your relationships better, your work more meaningful, more enjoyable, your life of more value first and foremost to yourself.
May the rest of your 2017 not be filled only with anticipation of 2018, but with good surprises and unanticipated joys.