True Fans

Perhaps it is better to inspire 1,000 true fans
Than 1 million lukewarm followers

I have written a blog for over 8 eight years now. It is a creative expression of my reflections and ideas (and yes, rants). It’s a lens that I use to help focus on things that blur easily. A telescope of sorts, that gives me the freedom to see beyond my circumstances. Growing up in a failing state and having multiple layers of frustration to work through daily, I found that writing could catapult me somewhere new. A defiant piece of existence to call my own. I wrote for me. And I loved it. I was energized by it. I could deal with reality better. I could taste things through my writing that life would take many years to serve up to me in reality. An escape.

But if i am being honest, I also wanted other people to see it. Obviously, because why else put it online? The trouble is, most of the people I knew either did not read blogs, nor cared to read mine. I would find myself seeking validation from close friends and some family to see what they thought. They always found what I wrote to be very abstract and somewhat esoteric. And they never really engaged with it enough for me to figure out if I wanted to write for them too. Other people have sporadically given feedback on what I wrote but in general what I found was that my blog just wasn’t getting that much traffic. Sadly, I often let the low engagement keep me from writing altogether and so the blog has waxed and waned over the years. I resigned to just write for the sake of creative release for whenever I felt the need.

On my graduation day, my family gave me the ultimate gift. They gave me a book of a selected compilation of my blog posts that I had written over the years. It broke me. True fans.
I hadn’t realized that someone had been watching all along, and that those someone’s cared enough to know how much it would mean to have that given back to me. It was my own record of a teenager transitioning into his twenties. I could see the trend of idealism to disillusionment to stubborn hope. It was a mirror that reflected back to me my internal world made public over my formative years. I realized then what this blog was really for, it wasn’t my space to get ‘discovered’. It was,
a space to find my voice.
To figure out what I really wanted to say
And how I wanted to say it.
To get used to the idea
Of thrusting myself into the universe
And landing somewhere new.
It wasn’t a private diary that happened to be made public
It was gymnasium for figuring out
How to give my ideas feet.

It’s been said that writing is a way of seeing as much as it is a way of expression. And maybe that’s really what this blog has been for. It may not have gained me a large following, but its helped me get a little more comfortable with a tool to navigate the world. And quite likely, what I write will never be for everyone, but I am learning to aim differently. To write for the true fans, the ones who will relate to my story and tell me their own. The ones who have also sought freedom through creativity and have fought to stay hopeful in the face of unrelenting affliction.

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