I struggle with the notion of “going viral” all the time. I have a website that I write my stories on. I started just for myself, but there are so many tools I have access to so I can see how many people are reading, what time of day they are reading it, what post did the most views, etc. I’ve had a few stories get way more views than others and I was judging my writing based off that. The dance stories get more views because there is a big network I have access to. It gets shared on my daughters site and it picked up by other dance studios. I know that will draw numbers. And then I write a fictional story that I really enjoyed but I let the small numbers discourage me from writing more on it. I let views get in the way of my passion.
I dream of “going viral” with my stories all the time. Like I write this magical piece of art and all the sudden I get famous, or I get offers to do other things. I’d love for it to happen, but I don’t think I earned it at this point. Like, let’s say it happens. Do I get rich off one story? How does that work, does the advertising on my page that pays me like $.000001 for every click actually make me rich? I’d need like 100 million people to read it to get any actual financial win fall.
I was listening to a podcast of a very successful comedian and he was asked why he puts out so many of his sets on youtube. Another comedian was asking him about why he wouldn’t wait to put it all out on a yearly Netflix special. He discussed that it was important for him to get his views out to as many people as possible as timely as he could. He understands the new cycle and how maybe Jeffrey Epstein is a big story now, but in the next week a chicken sandwich coming out would take up most of the “internet” space. Then he was asked about going viral, and he stated that “going viral” means nothing if you don’t have other material ready to go. When a joke he has goes viral and people outside his fan base watch the video he had hundreds of others for them to view. He gets them to him by going viral, but he cashes in with all the other material he has that is viewed. It’s also the reason why he doesn’t stress about views on each and every video. He knows the material is good, and he knows that if he keeps working and putting out good stuff that the views will eventually be there. His logic is completely sound. Get them to you, and give them tons and tons of material. That’s how he “cashed in”.
I also have followed a website, Barstool Sports for many years. I was working in Boston and I was picking up their free newsletter on the train every morning. It was a quick easy read about Boston sports, hot girls, and whatever else I was into at the time. They moved to a website and I followed them there because they got my attention by handing out these free newsletters. They hired a few writers in other cities and just kept putting out blogs and videos. They just kept grinding, slowly building an audience until they very recently blew up. They constantly are “going viral” with the stuff they put out now because they push the envelop, but they keep people engaged because they have thousands of hours of videos and thousands of blogs on their site. A story of theirs gets a lot of attention and then another story they wrote years ago that nobody saw goes viral. They are cashing in now on all those hours of work they put in. All the grinding they did is now paying off.
So, I got a little inspired and picked back up my story entitled “Alone” just yesterday. I started writing and I got back that joy of when I first started writing it. I control the story, I want to know what happens to my guy, Lee Jenkins, and I don’t care if no one reads it. I took back the happiness I get from writing. I’m learning how to write, I’m testing myself to write whatever the hell I want. I’m enrolling in a writing class in December to test myself more, to prepare myself for when I eventually become the next Lee Child, or James Patterson. I wrote last week about being inspired by my hard working daughter and I was blessed to get another big dosage of inspiration from a random comedian this morning. I learned to work on your passion very hard. Don’t focus on the result, put your head down and get to work. If it’s a true passion the results will come from the work you do, not from the bank account that grows with it.
If you got this far, share this story and make me famous….
Thanks for reading (whether you read this on 9/25/2019 or sometime in the year 2025)