Chasing a Following

It’s been some time since I sat and typed anything for this site. I can understand if the only people coming here are spammers. After all, I haven’t given much meat to digest.

It’s not intentional. To be honest, I’ve been having some fun posting videos over on YouTube (if you want, you can check them out at http://www.youtube.com/user/JustusRStone). There’s something liberating about not having to force my hands to translate the happenings in my brain. For some reason, the mouth seems much easier to perform that task. Maybe because of its closer proximity to the brain?

But being on YouTube has given me some food for thought. And I suppose it’s not just YouTube, but also Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all these messes of social networks that have noodled into my brain and have me thinking. Just what am I doing? What validation am I seeking?

Checking my YouTube page to see the stats for each of my videos has become a daily habit. Bizarre really, given that I’ve done little to promote the channel and my videos betray my amateur status. There’s little there to justify getting viewer counts in the tens of thousands. Yet, there’s so many on YouTube that have just that. And I can’t help but think how an indie writer could benefit from such a huge following. I mean, that is the reason we’re chasing people on our various networks, right? We talk about warm things like community, support and connections, but the real reason so many indies hit the social web is to gain customers. And perhaps that’s the other reason why my blog hits, video views and twitter followers haven’t exploded; because I’m worried about customers.

Which is stupid given that I currently have nothing to sell (but that’s a whole other post).

My most viewed video on YouTube is a rant about how the current team of people involved with the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie are seeking to change the origins of the characters. Does this have anything to do with my writing? Not even in the most remote sense. And that wasn’t why I made the video in the first place. I did it because I was mad (yes, I am a fanboy). But that upset connected with others. Why?

That’s where the noodling in my head has been stemming from.

The answer I’ve come up with is… sincerity. That video is who I am. I didn’t do it because I wanted book fans to follow me so one day I might sell them a book. I didn’t do it to try and gain hordes of followers. I did it because it struck a true chord in my fanboy heart and I had to say something about it.

I think I’ve been doing things for all the wrong reasons. I think I’ve allowed myself to get sucked into the “gain a following and create a presence” vortex. I’ve spent too much time worrying about how to get people to follow my exploits instead of focusing on the exploits themselves.

So I’ve decided to stop worrying about it. Whether it’s here on the blog, or over on YouTube, it will be a reflection of who I am and what I really feel the need to talk about. If people find that interesting, well, they’re welcome to follow along. In the meantime, I’ll just keep rambling….

Posted in Blogging, Personal.