Imagine yourself in an endless hallway of doors. You can’t see the end of the hall. It seems to go on forever, stretching out in front of you as far as you can possibly see.
With each step you take, the hallway seems to extend, and you tell yourself it will go on forever, your trek along this highway will more than likely consume the rest of your life.
Now imagine yourself holding in your hands your most prized possessions, manuscripts of your latest novel, your collections of poems and stories. Imagine stopping at each door, every single entry, and knocking.
But the doors don’t open.
And you feel it strange because you see hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of other people, all holding their work walking in this hallway of doors, knocking on them just like you are.
What’s strange is that the doors open for a few of these transients, and they are allowed entry. But when you knock on the same door as they did, the door never opens for you.
No one on the other side of the door ever sees you. They never acknowledge the fact you exist. To whatever or whoever is behind the door, you don’t.
You don’t exist.
And so you keep knocking on the doors of this endless hallway, thinking you’re just not good enough to be allowed entry into one of these doors along this eternal hallway.
With each step you take, you begin to feel excluded, powerless, and unwanted. You wonder how it’s possible others are being seen by whatever or whoever is on the other sides of these doors, but you’re not.
You begin to believe you are invisible. As you trod down this hallway of doors, you simply can’t fathom the fact that you and many others in this hallway have become invisible.
You can see them, and they can see you, and you just don’t understand why nobody on the other sides of the doors can see the masses of people in this hallway. It just doesn’t make any sense to you that these doors are opened to only a handful of people.
They are seen and asked to enter, but you and scores of others are never acknowledged, never asked to join, never seen.
I’ve just described how a lot of writers are feeling these days.
We’ve all become invisible.
Yesterday, I came across a piece by a writing sister of mine. I must clearly state for the record it’s been a while since I’ve read some of her work. I don’t know why, because Jo Ann Harris is simply a fantastic writer and I’ve read a lot of her work before.
Before you even complete my article, I ask that you give Jo Ann’s piece a read. She’s deserving of it, and I believe she’s paid her dues just like all the rest of us.
If you’ve already read it, then cool. But I have to say. This one reached out and slapped me upside the head. Moreso, because I’ve been feeling like this lately, and I just couldn’t find the right words to express what was going on in my noggin.
Yeah, we all get like that more than we want to admit.
In her piece, Jo Ann Harris spells it out correctly, in fact, I believe she precisely and succinctly details an accurate blow by blow description of the life of a writer to a T. I and many others like Jo Ann, have been around for a while and posted hundreds of articles. I and many others, just like Jo Ann have managed to gain minimal traction.
And I and many others like Jo Ann have felt for the longest time these feelings of invisibility.
Why is it after a certain incubation period of only a year or two, a writer feels they are fading away, feels as if they’re losing recognizable form and substance?
Why is it a writer starts telling themselves they must continue to churn something out every day, or they run the risk of melting away into obscurity?
Is it perhaps because those on the other sides of the door are looking out into the hallway for only what they wish to see? Is it because we the invisible haven’t figured out what filters are being used, and we simply disappear from sight each time we knock on one of those doors?
No one likes to be invisible. Everyone deserves a chance, deserves an opportunity to be seen. All of us need to be recognized in some fashion for the hard work we’re doing.
And no, I’m not talking about a participation trophy.
When we write sh*tty stuff, we don’t expect someone to hold it up in front of the readers and slap a blue ribbon on it. In fact, we will more than likely always be the first to tell you what we just presented was rubbish.
But we don’t always produce rubbish.
We only want to be seen from time to time. Our quality works to be doled out fairly to the reading masses. We want to hear from them, not who or whatever is behind those doors with their filters on never seeing us, never seeing our work.
We need and want to be seen and heard. Our words matter just as much as everybody else’s.
So Jo Ann? This one’s for you.
You may think you’re invisible to a lot of people, but you’re not to us. We see what you write, we read the words you put down, and we understand where in the heck you’re coming from.
We’re all walking the same endless corridor knocking on the same doors as you. We’re walking right beside you, hoping for an equal chance to be seen just like you, struggling with the same nagging possibility of becoming completely invisible.
Never forget we see you Jo Ann. You’re not invisible to us. From the day we met you until today, you’ve never been invisible.
Never forget that.
Let’s keep in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
© P.G. Barnett, 2020. All Rights Reserved.