A few days ago, I wrote an essay. It was serious. People liked it. I felt chuffed.
The next day, I wrote an essay about having nothing to write about. Perhaps people read it. Judging from the feedback, however, the silence was deafening.
It could have been the jarring change of tone. I mean, the day before, I had written this intense, serious essay, and now here it was, the next day, and I was writing about having nothing to write about.
(I should note that most of other essays have been about such scintillating subjects as the contents of my apartment, and my cat Hugo.)
So I'd like to believe that the reason that no one cared about the essay before this one is because it wasn't about a subject as important as the one that became before it. Unfortunately, I must face that there’s a far more basic reason:
The essay before this one wasn’t very good.
Look, I wish that I could tell you that every single thing that I write is a gem. I wish that I could tell you that I write an essay, decide it’s not good, write another, decide it’s not good, write a third, decide it’s not good, and then, after, like forty of these, say “ah...this is it. This is the essay I shall publish.”
It just doesn’t work that way. No, in order to publish an essay that’s worth reading, it’s necessary to publish a number of essays that are not worth your time.
Part of this is my utter lack of objectivity when I write. I have no idea whether any of this is good or not. I'm good at knowing when something is unfit for human consumption. It may, however, just be one of those things where it’s like a meal where you say “meh...it’s edible.”
If you keep writing, you’re writing will become edible. Whether it’s delicious is another story.
Unfortunately, the only way you can get to the delicious stuff is to slog through the edible stuff. I like to think that you can tell, from the get go, whether or not my entry is a merely edible entry this time around. This saves you precious minutes of your life that you shall never get back.
If it’s merely edible, you probably didn’t get this far. That was probably wise. This also means that right now I’m speaking in an empty room. Therefore I shall reassure myself: don’t worry about this merely mediocre essay, Derek...better ones will come.