Lately I have noticed that people are not reading my blogs, and for the most part they are not responding to the things I do on Facebook and other places. This seemed odd to me, because I feel my blogs are generally better than they used to be and my content in other venues is as well.
Then this morning I was reading a blog by one of my favorite bloggers. As I read his blog I noted that while his content was still very good and the blog was interesting, I was not interested and struggled to read to the end. In fact I didn't read to the end.
I realized that I have pretty much heard all he has to say at this point. All his points have started to sound the same. All his words and catch phrases seem old to me now. I am bored with him. Every point he makes is one I have heard him make before. They are still very valid, but they aren't fresh. He is repeating himself.
People will get bored with you. That is always the artists problem. Many great sitcoms, like Seinfeld, or Friends or any of the others simply lose their freshness. That will always happen. When it does, what should/can you do?
For me, that means doing newer things. Secondly, it means finding a new audience. If the previous audience still enjoys your work that is great, but you can't expect them to hang around. Most will not.
Just like with relationships and friends, sometimes artists run their course with their audience. It gets boring. There is no spark. Someone new comes along and catches their eye and attention.
You can't let it get to you. You just have to do what you do and hopefully you aren't repeating yourself. If you suspect you are, then maybe you should go back and read your own work and see if you get bored with yourself.
It is really tough to break out of this pattern, because it feels very comfortable. You work hard to get to that point where the content and ideas flow so that you can produce at the level and speed you want to. But the tradeoff in getting to that point is that you lose the edge that kept them interested in the first place.
I am at that point. I need to think about what I do and how I do it. That doesn't mean I pander or fall prey to the latest fad. It just means I have to take a look at myself and evaluate myself honestly, like I am looking at my own work as if it is not mine but another persons.
When I trained horses some of us did this. We would take a racing program, look at the results only and not who the horse was and who owned them. Think like bettors, not like owners and trainers. That is a harsh reality to face, because just like owners and trainers we get attached to our writing and don't want to see it for what it truly is.
But if people are bored with you then there is a reason for that....you are boring them. If you get used to that and do nothing about it, then you accept that and really can't complain when you lose your audience.
It is a choice we all make. I choose to figure out how to do it better...or different.
Along the way, I suspect that if I do change it up a bit and make it more interesting, as I gain new readers I will get some of the old ones back. It is up to you to re-invent yourself, not up to others to ride it out with you. There are lots of choices out there. You are just one of many and if you don't measure up, they will just discard you and go to the next one. It is just the reality you must face up to, or fade away from if you don't.