Will anybody actually care?

During the last few weeks I have attempted several times to get public response to my short story, “WATER”.  I have submitted it to a couple magazines, blogged about it, put it on my website, sent emails to friends, etc., and have had some very favorable responses. For those of you who did take the time to read it, I thank you. Your comments truly warmed my heart.

But the other, more targeted attempts I have made in trying to get the story out there have met with even less than a sigh. Not even a whimper. It is like the world is dead and I am out here at my laptop thinking there are people hearing me, but there is no response. It feels like post nuclear war.

Let me explain why this is bizarre: I did some very extensive searches on the internet for places which hosted inspirational short stories. I also read a few of the works they had available to be sure my short story would be well accepted. Then I submitted by email or form according to the requirements site. I did this several times. These included sites hosted by other Christian authors, sites who promote writers of inspirational stories, sites for ministries, and even an LDS site or two. I also posted to Goodreads and sent out a note to some groups who talk about and write short stories.

But I got nothing. Not a single response. Not a peep. Hmmmm.

I made the effort to do this for 2 reasons:

1. It is a good story, in my opinion. It is very uplifting. So, I wanted to make it freely available to the public, no strings attached. I think it has the power to strengthen a person’s feelings for the Jesus Christ. That is why I wrote it. I was prompted to write the story many, many times. . . the idea would not leave me alone until I finally took the time to do it.

2. I do have to admit, I did hope that if people liked the story, they might also be interested in reading my book when it is released. That idea came to me afterwards, when it was turned down by the magazines I submitted to. I wondered what I was going to do with it.

Whether the story ever contributes to an awareness of my book, it doesn’t matter. I write because I feel compelled to write. And if reason number one listed above is accomplished, the short story has fulfilled its reason for being.

I know, I shouldn’t give up. And I won’t. But it strikes me as odd that nobody in those targeted searches responded. Not one.

I know better than to ask myself this question, but I couldn’t help it. With the prospect of having a book released in March, I am having some of those pre-publication jitters I have seen other writers experience. I am sure there is no cause for alarm. At least not yet. The question still comes to mind:

Will anybody actually care? 

If you are a writer, how did you overcome that question? What keeps you trying even though there is a chance nobody will ever read what you have written?

I think I know the answer for myself. I am just curious about what keeps the rest of you going.



Will anybody actually care? — 5 Comments

  1. I am convinced that is why so many writers blog…not just because we write compulsively in all genres..blogging, journals, emails, novels, short stories, what have you, but because blogging is so dang satisfying in that it gets us a near immediate response and reaction to what we write. As opposed to what you experienced with your story. Devastating. Hello? Is anyone out there?

    When we blog, we know there are people out there reading us. Although I realize it's a poor substitute for getting reader response from a work you have put your heart and soul in. Good Post.

  2. I am inclined to think that somethings just take time. I have every reason to believe that when your book comes out, that there will be people who say, "Hey, I heard he wrote a short story about Christ called Water," and then go look that up-including some of the people or mags or e-zines that have thus far remained silent. This could very well be something that comes back around again farther down the road.

    I understand very well the feeling of Is anybody out there? and all I can think is -OK gotta keep scratching down these yarns because they will be noticed evantually and as time goes by I will write better and better stuff too.

  3. Sorry i don't have much successful advice on this one. Unfortunately, i hit that question far too often in my writing-goals.

    i think it's the obsession that keeps me going. The fact that i'm more depressed if i deny myself the art of writing, than i am when i'm writing something that nobody will care about.

    hang in there–we love ya!

  4. Sometimes, it's all about the timing. I believe God prepares a way. Perhaps your road for this story is longer than you think. Perhaps the responses are delayed. Whatever it is, don't discount the favorable responses you've gotten. Those are the ones that prove it's a story worth sharing. God is forming the path. You just have to be patient enough to walk it.

  5. .

    Hey. I happen to know that at least one publisher wrote you back.

    But to get to your main point, writers write. We do what we can to get readers, but hey — agency. Know what I mean?

    And publishers suck. Even when I run them.

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