Upvote Blues

I have been blog posting nearly everyday for at least a half a year. Prior to that irregularly for over a year. With all of the postings, the evidence is overwhelming, most people don’t read, they glance. Wait stop! Don’t go back and read what I have previously blogged, that is not what this is about. I don’t take it personally.

Truth be told, people do not read for a couple reasons. First and foremost, technology and SNS has made it much easier to make it seem like someone has read something simply by “upvoting,” “liking or “hearting.” The other reason, there is so much content, who in their right mind has the time to read it all. I don’t blame you.

Why do I bring up this topic? Because I’m going to fess up, I do the same. I don’t profess to know other‘s reasoning besides the two, but my other reason, many of what people write about I’m not interested in reading. However, I will show my support with a “Like,” “Upvote” or a “Heart,” but chances are I have only done a passing glance.

Everyone has their motives for writing. For some it is a personal diary for public consumption. Others it is therapy putting whatever comes to mind without a care in the world. Many are looking for attention and accolades wanting as many votes and followers for whatever reason. And there some who, albeit with well intentions offer support and help in areas where they are not trained. And finally, those that simply want to make money by any means possible, the confidence man.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with any of the above, except the con man. Question I have, what are your motives? Do you know? Is it clear why you are doing what you are doing?

It is getting clearer with each passing word why I do what I do. And I am finding with that clarity what I am drawn to reading. There is less than a handful that are doing something creatively with a voice and focus that is worthy of my attention and limited time. Don’t worry, don’t let it get you down, or take it personally. It’s not you, it’s me. See I am well over the middle age mark and I cannot squander my time. This is the world we live in. With so much content out there and people vying for attention we have to sift through the mediocrity to get to the good stuff we are interested in.

Personally, I don’t care if people notice or not, I just do it. Well okay, that last statement about “not caring” is not altogether true. I care a little, but not that much. Why? The answer and inspiration comes from a very strange place, the Ken Burns documentary on Jazz, which I happen to be watching.

These early Jazz pioneers perfected their art by just playing, constantly playing. These musicians embodied everyday life experiences and struggles and it came out in their music. They didn’t care who was listening or not, they had to do it. They had to express. Upvotes and like buttons never factored into what they did, they just played.

Over time people began to take notice and show up to listen. Word spread, and the music took off in a big way. A number of musicians rose to the surface standing out among the crowd. They pushed the boundaries of the music, their playing was their voice, loud and clear. The clearer the voice the more they stood out. People resonated with the familiar sound that spoke to them of their same experiences.

I am not putting myself in the league with these greats, but inspiration comes from any true creative endeavor. They did nothing more than play music.

The moment I get carried away with likes, upvotes, followers and money is the moment I will stop writing.

It is then that I will have lost my way forgetting that I write for the love of writing. Anything beyond that is a gift.

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