What Happens When You Go Viral: On Wanting to Give Up

Journey true north

The openness, honesty and spirit of this writing has truly engaged me. It’s worth the time to read and consider the path to writing ‘success’ when the social media storm has changed all the framework.

But what say you: Is the new world in your favour? Or no?

Such Small Hands

I recently found out that the hit count on my Relevant article back in June was over 1.6 million. The editor told me it was the second-biggest traffic day in the history of their website. That’s mind-boggling to me.

If you had asked me a year ago what I thought it would mean to have a piece get that much exposure, I would have assumed it would be my big break. That it would boost my blog, lead to freelance opportunities, help connect me to the right people. That it would be my open door into the world of professional writing and publishing. That it would bring me validation and satisfaction. It would reassure me that what I’m doing here isn’t pointless and that my story matters.

Do you want to know the truth?

It hasn’t done any of those things. For a few weeks I received a lot of…

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2 thoughts on “What Happens When You Go Viral: On Wanting to Give Up

  1. Hi Ruth — thanks for reposting this, it’s a question well worth considering! I would measure success in terms of how much impact my writing has on the culture, rather than by whether I earn money from it, and certainly not just by the number of page views or followers. At present I don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account because I feel like it would be more of a distraction than anything useful. But I wonder if I might feel differently about social media if I had more experience with it? I don’t know. Time will tell, I suppose.


    1. Good points, Meg. There’s a great freedom in writing for no one but yourself. And to also reference your own version of success. For the many bloggers who wish to turn their writing into a career I understand it must be hard when some content can be enormously popular, but not lead to any further paid opportunities. It’s certainly an interesting take on the way social media works – blogs included.


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