“Don’t be disheartened by rejection. Your work isn’t you.”
This is advice most writers are given after complaining about rejection. However, I think it’s incorrect. What we write is often heavily inspired by our real-life experiences. Therefore, it is an extension of ourselves. Our industry is challenging to navigate. People will naively respond to these two questions whenever someone is disenfranchised and question why their work isn’t being read.
“What are you doing to engage with the community?”
“Is your work good enough?”
Now, do you see how the focus has been placed on you? These people are reluctant to examine why they aren’t giving certain people the time of day. In their mind, it is always someone else’s fault. They are blissfully unaware of their biases towards specific algorithms.
You need to be the root that grows up through the concrete. Force your way into view so that they can’t possibly ignore you. Social media makes it easy for people to discard people who aren’t pretty enough for them. They single out certain types of people and put them on a pedestal. This gives the person on the pedestal free reign to write anything they want because they now have a guaranteed audience.
The writer is the product. We have to sell ourselves. Yes, we are creating products, but we are the business model. Popularity is a massive part of business culture, and it can be maddening. For example, if someone is considered attractive, they don’t have to work as hard as myself, who isn’t all that good looking.
Social media is a breeding ground for narcissism. In my experience, some make being obnoxious be their brand. I find that lazy and pathetic. Many highly talented people are overlooked because they can’t be heard over the cacophony of the popular.
Be the root.