Writing For Yourself
As a writer, I find myself writing more and more to appease others. I write for themes I wouldn’t usually write for, for journals I would’ve scoffed at not too many months ago, and for people I have never met and probably will never meet in my entire life.
None of that is necessarily a bad thing, as it is good to push the boundaries of our own skills – to go outside of our comfort zone, if you will.
Yet, if you’ll look at the picture above, you’ll find the title of a piece I have never published. I’ve shown it to a handful of people, and I’ve debated publishing it too many times to count. I’m still debating it today, and probably will for a long time until I finally decide one way or another.
Or perhaps I won’t.
Regardless, I wrote that piece for myself. I wrote it because I had feelings I felt were best kept on paper. I wrote it because it was what I wanted to write.
Everyone wants to write a piece which will change the world, or will mean something to someone else. I believe that is a noble cause, necessary in a world so open and ever-changing. It’s nice to know someone you may never meet has certain feelings and aspirations akin to your own. Though, is it not just as important to write for ourselves? Must we always write just to publish? Must we always write just for the readers?
I believe we should write for ourselves just as much as others. We can fulfill the duty to others while fulfilling a duty to ourselves.
Yet, I often feel myself losing the answer to those questions. What do you think? Let me know, and comment below.
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That’s a tough balance to find. Everyone writes for different reasons, though. So if one wanted to merely “make it” as a writer and wasn’t led by a specific personal vision or message, that might make it easier for a writer to not write, for lack of better words, for themselves.
Then again, if the hypothetical writer doesn’t care as much about personal vision, and just wants to make money… then… well, why be a writer? Not a lucrative path.
I think that this post really opened my eyes. I always thought writing for yourself was a very important thing to do, but I never stopped to check and make sure that’s actually what I’m doing. I want a career as an author, I know that’s for sure. But as for the stories I’m working on right now, what’s motivating me? Potential success or the desire to simply tell my story? I mean, it would be amazing to finally see my thoughts come to life on paper…
I began professional writing purely for myself. By that I mean my first novel was a story I wanted to read, so I wrote it and then crafted it into something that other people would appreciate. I do write for other people however when I take on freelance jobs. Ultimately I believe writing can be both a vocation and simply a ‘job.’