What if no one cares?

I remember the first couple weeks of our capstone classes. We talked about what makes a project so successful, and we all landed on that you have to be invested in the topic that you’re writing about – you have to care. I saw this passion in so many projects – from the Sinking Cities project to Michelle Kuo’s Reading with Patrick. The creators of these projects were so passionate, and I could tell that I began to have a passion for their various topics, as well. That’s what makes these projects so successful in my eyes- the writers care, but so does the audience.

I don’t know when this unbearable fear of no one caring about my work became something I thought about constantly when writing, but I do think I know where it started. I was delivering a speech at my high school graduation, and I wanted as much feedback on it before speaking in front of the entire school. I had SO many people read my speech, and every time they gave it back to me, it was covered in red corrections. I usually didn’t mind and loved the feedback, but I remember one point of feedback I had gotten – “are you sure you don’t want to talk about something else?” I was mortified- was the content of my speech so unbearable that I should write something else?

I don’t know why, but I’ve carried that with me. I carried it into every college writing class. I couldn’t help it- I was always thinking “what if no one cares?” That’s the worst possible feedback I can get. I would rather have someone hate my work- at least it raises a reaction.

I think this Capstone project is making me incredibly nervous because it’s a topic that I care so deeply about, but I have never written about. Does anyone actually care about holistic health (besides the people in the holistic community?) I’m not really sure, but I guess I’ll find out. If anyone has any idea how to mitigate writing fears such as this, please let me know!

2 thoughts to “What if no one cares?”

  1. Hi Casey!

    I think this fear is pretty common to all writers just getting started (meaning us!). I know I definitely have that fear. And for me, it has evolved into a “I shouldn’t care that much either so I’m just going to do what I need to do to get the project/paper done” mentality. And that’s an easy pill to swallow when it comes to research papers and business reports (is that what we business majors have to look forward to in terms of writing?). But when you get to choose your own topic and are actually writing something that you care about, well it gets a little tougher to swallow!

    But the reality is, there are different interpretations of “success.” I mean, what’s your goal? That others will enjoy it? Get something out of it? Or are you doing it for yourself? To learn more about the topic and apply it to your own life? Really, I think your goal(s) is the right measurement to use when labeling it as “successful” or not!

    I can give you something that’s a little less vague though: your passion for the project will shine through. Readers, especially those of us who are writers, will be able to pick up on your passion whether you mean for it to be a part of your project or not. So I guess I’m saying don’t worry! As long as you meet your goals and enjoy your project, I would say that it’s pretty successful.

    Happy writing!
    Alexis

  2. Hi Casey!

    I resonate with this question in my daily life. Sometimes when I share some articles on Facebook, hours later I would think back does anyone even care about all these articles? Back in high school, I was here and there spreading awareness about autism to my classmates. Even after all those hard work, it felt like no one really cared. They talked about it for a few days, and then the general conversation moved on to a different topic.

    But now years later, people are more aware about autistic students in the school and what resources the school should have to better accommodate these students. I think that everything matters. People care. Just that sometimes we are on different timelines than other people. Some of your audience might not get it until years later, or some people who care about this years ago but never find the right project, can find it now thanks to you.

    Alia

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