Write to Express Not Impress

Why you shouldn’t get so caught up in dings, notifications, likes, and recommends.

You pour your heart into your blog. Tears are flowing as you share the most intimate part of your soul with the Universe. You’re tedious, as a good, professional writer always is, to go back and clean it up; dotting i’s and crossing t’s. You push publish, and then you wait.

You wait, and wait, and wait.

Suddenly, “ding,” you get a notification. Anticipation skyrockets, but instantly plummets when you discover you received a notification about someone else’s post that was voted suggested reading for you.

You go back to waiting and waiting, and then you can’t stand it any longer. You break into your blogging platform thinking there must be some type of technical glitch. Someone must have read what you wrote, right? Then you are slapped in the face with the truth — not one damn like or recommend.

As if self-esteem wasn’t already at an all time low, now, with notification technology, every second of every day can add to an already humiliating life experience.

“What does a writer have to do to get likes these days, buy them?”

Oh, wait, that can be arranged too.

Human beings need validation. It builds our self worth. Validation tells us we are ok. Especially as a writer, you want to know that you’re writing what people want to hear, right?

Well, why did you write what you wrote in the first place? Because you wanted someone to read it, or because you thought you had something of value to say?

Write to express not to impress, it’s key to longevity as a writer. — Jeff Crume

Don’t get so caught up in dings, notifications, likes and recommends. You are a writer. You write because it’s who you are, not what you do. You write because if you don’t you are most miserable. Writing is your own therapy. If someone else benefits, more power to them.

If you’re in a slump, go back and dig out some of your first writings. Look at why you started writing in the first place. Then, imagine that person on the other side of the planet who stumbles upon one of your writings.

With tear-filled eyes, the devour your words. Hope begins filling their heart. Once so broken, so abused, having lost all hope, they get your words. I mean really, really get them. And what you wrote changes their life forever!

The hell with likes! Don’t buy them. You can enlarge anything if you have enough money. But your heart, and the heart of your audience, is not for sale!

Write because it’s what you can do to help someone else, not because of what someone else can do to help you. Your pen is your candle. Your words are your flame. Someone needs you to light their way.

Write to express, not impress, it’s the key to longevity as a writer.


Originally published at writingcooperative.com on September 26, 2016.