Writing for yourself

As some of you may have guessed, I’m going through some major personal issues right now. I can’t talk about it here yet, but I promise that I will explain someday. Probably in the form of a book.

Because of this, I’ve been writing a lot. That’s not uncommon, I write a lot all the time. That’s kind of my thing, you know? I write books, short stories, and blog posts. I write pretty much every day. And what I write usually goes into the public eye very quickly.

A lot of what I’m writing right now is not for the public eye. A lot of it will never be in the public eye because I didn’t write it for anyone else but me. I’m writing journal entries, poetry, letters, notes. I’m writing just to scream onto the page about what’s going on. I’m writing because I only see my therapist once a week. I’m writing, for the first time in a long time, purely for me.

We don’t do that as writers. At least not once we’re to the point where people are paying us for our writing. Pre-publication everything we write is for ourselves. Once you start getting fans waiting for your next installment it starts being different. Almost all of what we write starts out being just for us but eventually must be edited and shaped for others.

Sometimes we need to step away from that, and write something just for us. Especially if your life is in chaos, or if you’re just trying to deal with a lot of stuff. Because when we write for others when we share our writing with others, we are sharing parts of ourselves. We’re sharing our souls for space in someone else’s heart. Normally I think that’s a pretty good trade.

But sometimes, sometimes we need to just write for ourselves. We need to write in our journal, write bad poetry, write stories that are experimental and not really complete yet. We need to sketch out dialog that isn’t right, and scenes that we would never want to share. Please, write about sex, and anger, and fear. Write the things you don’t want anyone to know, then burn the page you write it on.

Write for the world, because the world needs stories. But write for yourself, because you need to keep something for you.

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