Writing can be a passion and a calling. It can fulfill a creative a spirit, but it can also be a path to depression. Why depression? When you start writing for everyone else, you begin to love the love of writing. That is why you should write for yourself.
The Dangers of Writing for Others
Anytime you do something for other people, you take risks. Why? Because rarely are they ever satisfied with what you do. Remember the old saying that you can’t please everyone? That is true with your writing.
Think of a bestseller that everyone talked about. Pull up the reviews on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You’ll find a large number who loved it and just as many who hated it. Not everyone was satisfied. If that author was writing for everyone else, he was only partially successful. Is that really how a writer defines success? Then she will always fail.
I learned the hard way about writing for others. There are several stories I have in the works and many I have completed. I found myself completely despondent that others were not reading my work. Seriously, I couldn’t even get people to read the works and give me negative reviews. (Note: I only prefer constructive negative reviews. lol) The point is that I was writing for others and not for myself. Who cares what they think or if they read it? I should be writing because I enjoy doing so.
The Value of Writing for Yourself
It is great to do things for others, but value can be found even in acts done just for you. Think of when you get a message or just take a name. There is value in doing things just for yourself.
The value of writing for yourself is that you are writing a story that will satisfy you. Only your opinion matters. That can take a lot of weight off your writing shoulders. Do you enjoy romance novels? Then don’t worry about writing a mystery because others want it and you don’t. I’ve met so many authors who just follow the flow of wants by others and not follow what they want in their writing. In the end, the feel unfilled.
As I write my stories now, I have to remind myself that I am writing for me. I can’t have all my dreams on someone reading my book. That takes more energy than I can give. Why do I write? Because I love writing. That means I need to write for me and not for everyone else. I’ll be happier thinking that way.
Don’t take this as me saying that all writers should focus on themselves and not care if anyone reads their works or not. This all depends on where you are in your writing. If you are truly dedicated to getting readers and have the time and money to devote to it, go for it! But if you start to think about giving up writing because no one is reading your stuff, think again. Who are you writing for? It should be you.
Anytime you do something that is a passion of yours, do it for you. If others enjoy the results, that’s good, but the focus needs to be on the pleasure it brings you.