I Write for Me
Because, why else?
As of the writing of this, I have told no one that I started writing on Medium. Not my husband, not my best friends, and not my parents. No one.
Is this bizarre? Maybe. There’s no reason for this. I’m not embarrassed of my work. I don’t think I’m a great writer, but I don’t think I’m terrible either. Some people have told me that I’m good. However, I’ve never written consistently, or very often.
I’ve had two blogs prior to this. I wrote a few posts for each, and then I stopped writing. I don’t know why. I love to write. I feel alive when I write. Writing feeds my soul. When I write I’m in a state of flow. A state of flow that I don’t get from any other activity.
I probably enjoy writing above almost any other activity. But I hardly write.
I told people about my other two blogs. Not many people, but a few. The people I told said they liked what I wrote. And that I was good. But for some reason I stopped writing.
Maybe I cared too much about what other people thought. Maybe I was afraid of the potential criticism and judgement that would come from others reading my work. Maybe I have such a strong desire to be a writer, that I was afraid someone would tell me that I wasn’t good enough to be a writer.
I think sometimes we fear following our dreams because we are afraid we’re going to fail at them. We hold onto the idea of the dream, and we let the idea propel us into someday. Because if we actually go for the dream and fail at it, then we know it will never be. But if we keep hoping that one day we will achieve it, we never have to let it go.
We cling to what we never have, because clinging to a possibility is easier than letting go of the reality.
But the result is the same. We still end up with nothing.
I’ve been clinging to my writing dream for a long time. And there was always some excuse holding me back. I struggled with getting my blog set up. I could never get the format just how I wanted it. My email subscriber list wasn’t set up. I was too busy. Blah blah.
I got caught up in the details around setting up a blog and a following that I forgot the real reason I wanted to have a blog. To write.
I follow a lot of popular bloggers. I know a lot of bloggers have turned their writing into money. Blogging can be lucrative. And I like the idea of quitting my corporate job so I can be a full time writer.
But that’s not my dream.
My dream is just to write.
I have a lot to say, and not a lot of people to say it to. A lot of people see the world very differently from the way I see it. And that’s fine. That’s what makes life interesting. If we all saw everything the same, then life would be boring. If we all thought the same, then there wouldn’t be much to write about.
We each have different values and different life experiences. Those values and experiences shape our view of the world. Those values and experiences mean that we each have different things to say.
I enjoy conversations with people who see the world in a similar way to me. The conversations I have with these people foster connection and feed my soul in a way that other conversations often don’t. But I don’t have a lot of soul feeding conversations.
So now I’m creating my own. I’m feeding my own soul.
I’m not writing for anyone else. I’m writing for myself. And I think the reason why this is my fourth blog post in two weeks (which is more than I’ve ever written before in a short time period), is because of who I’m writing for.
I know that when you write you are supposed to write for an audience. You’re supposed to keep that target audience in mind when you write. And you’re supposed to focus on what that audience needs.
But for right now I’m focusing on what I need. And I need to write.
I think there are people who may want to hear what I have to say. And if they find my posts and resonate with them, then that’s fantastic. But if I focus on writing for other people, instead of for myself, then I fear I will lose myself.
I value authenticity above most other things. When I write for me, I can remain authentic. I’m not trying to prove anything or be someone who I’m not. I’m not writing to get praise or admiration. I’m just writing to write. I’m writing because I have things to say, and I can’t not say them any longer.
I’m know there are people who disagree with my perspective on life. And that’s fine. Everyone has a right to an opinion, and feedback is good. Being open to feedback is one of the ways that we can grow. But if I focus too much on the feedback, and on what other people might want to read, then I will lose the main reason why I am writing.
I’m aware that there are people who may vehemently disagree with what I write. And these people could find my posts. They could tell me that they hate what I write and that I suck. And I’m sure some of my stuff does suck. But that’s the risk we take when we make our work public. We open ourselves up to criticism. And that’s okay.
I used to constantly write blog posts in my head, especially during my commute, where I could just let my mind wander. Sentences would swirl around in my mind, clamoring to escape, desperate to leap out onto paper. But few of those sentences actually made it onto paper.
Now that I’ve shifted my mindset to writing for me, my thoughts are starting to go down in writing. And that’s what I care about.
My dream is not to make a ton of money writing, or to be a popular writer, or to quit my job and write full time.
My dream is simply: to write.
If someone loves what I write, that’s great. If someone hates what I write, that’s great, too. And if someone wants to write back and engage in a conversation that feeds my soul, that’s the best.
I can’t change much about this world. But I can change me. And I can stop thinking about chasing my dream of writing, and instead start writing.
I write for me.