Nobody Misses You

Posted on | September 1, 2013

 

Nobody misses you.

If you’re a creative whose outlet is the Internet, or an art gallery, or a bookstore with a weekly reading event, or a cafe that hosts bands, or a bar, or any other outlet where musicians, aritists, vriters, even programmers or designers hand out, the solumn truth is simple: if you disappear, nobody misses you.

Oh, sure, people might ask in an idle moment, “Whatever happened to…?” But the fact is, other than idle moments, nobody misses you. There’s too much good stuff on the Internet, too many distractions, too much beauty and loveliness and challenge.

A question sometimes asked is, “Where are the Shakespeares of today?” Well, there can be only one Shakespeare, only one person who first pushes forward the power of language with his quick wit and agile mind, but after he’s done in, thousands have followed in his path, taking what he did and pushing it just a little faster, just a little further. Given how few people of his age were literate enough to write a mere letter, and given how many people now communicate with the written word every day, there are thousands, if not hundresds of thousands, of people with the wit and skill and verbal dexterity of Shakespeare. We don’t appreciate them just because there are so many of them.

You could well be one of them.

But there are so many of them already. Regardless of taste in art, music, cinema, culture, etc., the distribution costs are so low, and the excess capacity of producers so great, that regardless of what is or where it’s produced, your fans can probably afford to enjoy it.

Which means that unless you’re producing something, injecting something into their thought stream that demands they pay attention to you, nobody misses you. ¬†You have to be producing all the time, creating something that keeps them interested at more or less the same rate as a slot machine, you will be, if not forgotten, at least subjected to fan silence until you produce more.

 

Comments

6 Responses to “Nobody Misses You”

  1. silent fan
    September 1st, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

    You are right, there is a lot of engaging and provoking content available. What I find draws me back to specific creators is an expectation of quality and interesting work. Something that I can engage with over and over. Something I’m willing to suggest to others. Though it also sometimes means needing to wait longer for another fix. With that in mind, it is not so much that fans have intentionally quieted down, as that we fear to be too pushy with comments that resemble nothing so much as ‘more please…’

  2. Richard
    September 5th, 2013 @ 5:14 am

    When I first read this, I might have been inclined to agree. In the internet age, there is such a torrent of content available, that when one bit of that goes missing it might not noticed. However, after thinking about it for a bit, I have come to the opposite conclusion.

    While there are many who could come and go and I would never notice, there are some who have had an impact on me and my life and my way of thinking. Those… those ideas, those images, those stories, and the creators behind them, leave a far deeper impression. One that is not so easily displaced by “other”.

    And, for me at least (probably for many others as well) Elf is one of those. One of those who’s work had an impact. One who’s work is relished, and enjoyed, and anticipated, while the rest of the world screams and floods and tries to grab my attention in every conceivable way. I look forward to the next story by Elf. The next installment. The next mundane tail of family life, or witty commentary on the political machinations of the world.

    It is hard to explain the defining quality of your writing that appeals to me, other than to say “thoughtful”. But that is not enough. There are many thoughtful writers who’ work does not appeal to me. There is something about your writing that stands out from the rest of the noise. And if/when that goes away, it will be missed. At least it will be missed by me. And, I am sure by at least a few others as well.

    RKDA

  3. Andy Wilson
    September 9th, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

    > Nobody misses you.

    This is not entirely true. All of my web browsers autocomplete Pendorwright after ‘pe’. Time was, I could spot new installments just by skimming the list and noticing when something felt a bit off. I was thrilled to hear that Misuko and Linia might be getting their own spinoff.

    While you can argue (successfully) that I know you through your writing rather than your work or your life, I very much miss (and look forward to) occasional glimpses into different facets of that universe. The things you’ve written say that you’re more than busy with other adventures so let me say just this: if and when you find time to write more for public consumption, it’ll be a royal treat, and until then I’ll keep re-reading my favorites until the pixels fall off the screen.

  4. Falbert Forester
    September 11th, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

    Certainly the case here that there is now far more content than I can possibly keep up with in one lifetime. But I’ve also run into a bit of comment fatigue; I’ll comment on a relevant current issue, but for something like a book series, unless someone points out something I missed before, or a new episode comes out, I don’t generally have too much to say, other than “more, please”, and that seems a bit petty to write.

  5. D
    November 5th, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

    I think “nobody misses you” is much more applicable to real-world creative outlets than it is to the Internet. As long as your media is still extant, still discoverable by new readers and still accessible to old ones, it’s going to have an audience.

    For example, I think I first discovered the Journal Entries about twenty years ago. (Good God, it really has been that long, hasn’t it?) And yet I still check back regularly to see if anything new’s been posted. A lack of feedback doesn’t necessarily mean that one has been forgotten.

  6. Kura
    January 13th, 2014 @ 11:39 am

    Gone, but not forgotten Elf. Remember that.

    I found your work at a time in my life where I really needed it. Your work taught me things about myself and my sexuality that I wouldn’t have discovered in other places. It’s also some of the best erotica I’ve ever found. Goodness how I loved Travellogue, Geographic, and many other stories.

    Your stories make me laugh, cry, and get aroused, and become emotionally invested in your characters. Not much erotica can do all of that. Hell, I’ve read ‘serious’ fiction that had less emotional impact on me.

    I silently await the next journal entry, Knowing well that you have a life and kids and a job that have to come first. As much as I want you to write more wonderful stories to read, It’d be pushy and selfish of me to ask you to put your writing in front of your life.

    Those people who ask “I wonder what happened to so and so” are wondering that frequently. Or at least, I am.

    I’m glad to know that you are still writing. I had thought your life had gotten so busy you had stopped, or simply moved on to something else in life.

    I’m still waiting to find out what happens to the Terrans once they got their own ring world, and retreated into cyberspace. How does the Pendorian right to privacy rub up against rescuing a race that is lost in a virtual reality? Will Pendor make a concerted effort to Rescue the terrans, or do they regard it as their right to retreat to a virtual world?

    I’ve also always wondered about the darker side of Pendorian society. There doesn’t seem to be much of it, but things like Biocybe addiction and mental illness come up from time to time. How are these things handled? How does a Pendorian who has lost all his standing in society because of his actions, change his ways and redeem himself?

    You’ve planted seeds in my brain elf, and I’ll always be eagerly awaiting your next work, even if I’m not pestering you to write more.

    You’re only forgotten on the internet when you produce content that is simply entertainment without substance. Your work has enough substance I’ve been pointing people to your site for a decade or so now, and will continue to do so as long as you keep the site up.

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