There’s been so much noise in my life lately. I don’t mean actual noise – that’s not something you get a lot of when you live alone with two cats. Cats are restful creatures, which is one of the most awesome things about them. I guess I mean that there’s been a lot of written noise in my life, and it’s getting to the stage where I’m starting to consider it noise, and not, say, some sort of song that is the backdrop to my otherwise rather quiet life.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m opinionated too, and I have a lot to say. But unlike most – well, a lot – of other people – I go through moments of silences that could last for a day, a week, or even a month. I’m not sure why this is, but I do know that this is the reason why I’m not really the best candidate for Twitter. I’ll chatter away endlessly to the ether several times a day for a while, and then – bam. Silence. Not a sound. Nada. All quiet on Planet Awanthi.
It isn’t intentional, but it happens, and as someone who spends her life painfully aware of every little thing she thinks and does (which then requires dissection and examination in a petri dish under the microscope of life), I’ve begun to realise that I do it a lot. Some friends call it my ‘running and hiding’ phase; this isn’t entirely true. I have neither run, nor am I hiding. In fact, I’m in plain view of the interwebs. I’m available to chat at certain points during the day on MSN Messenger, which they are aware of. I’m on Facebook, even if I’m not saying very much. In fact, the only social networking site that doesn’t see me during this time is Twitter (sorry, my fellow Twits).
I’m constantly amazed at the people who never seem to shut up. I’m not sure if it’s because they really feel the need to share every single thought they think is clever and/or original, or if they think the world really cares what they’re saying/eating/thinking/feeling/doing. For the most part, the world notices. I’m not sure if it cares, but it sits up and takes notice. There is always someone to notice someone else, especially on Facebook, and every single status update will get some sort of recognition, even if it is a passing comment, or a smiley, or heck, even a ‘like’. And if a status update doesn’t get any of the above – disaster! Time to try again in an hour or so, and perhaps the next status update will get x number of comments and/or likes, and perhaps, just perhaps, it will be some humdinger of a thought that will break their all-time record of likes and/or comments. Because, believe it or not, it’s all about the numbers, baby.
As a writer, I can most emphatically tell you that it’s not just about the pleasure of writing. If it were we’d be churning out books, articles, and novellas and handing them out to people, free of charge. No, it’s about statistics. I want to be read. I _will_ check the site stats on my blog everyday. I _will_ try to sell my book _to_ a publisher _for_ a fee. I don’t want to give the world something for nothing. I want to pay my rent, put food on the table, and take care of myself and the people who depend on me (my cats). Yes, I write because I must, but I sell my words because I must, too.
So it is about comments and likes, it is about page views, it is about the number of times you’ve been retweeted and favourited, and it is about being liked. It’s a popularity contest, at the end of the day. It really is. It’s about ratings and reviews and stars after the name of your work and awards and recognition. Recognition. I could lap that up like my cat laps milk (well, he would if he liked milk, but he doesn’t).
I think my period of silence has ended again, and I’m back to updating my blog; my status updates are becoming more frequent, and a heck of a lot more verbose. I like being liked, and I like being read. I may not chatter away to you willy nilly, and I may not jibber-jabber; I may not be in your face with all my ‘blah blah blah’, and I’d like to think I’m not spouting balderdash. I won’t tell you when I’m off to shower, and I won’t say good night to you when I go sleep (you as in the interwebs – don’t go getting needy on me now). I won’t bore you with status updates on the hour, every hour, and I won’t feel the need to tell you that my hair’s growing out again (it is).
I won’t even tell you what I had for breakfast.
(Unless it was mushrooms on toast.)