Warning: Contains no (intentional) philosophy.
I’ve been writing for a bunch of different audiences for a while now. And I realise why a writer needs to write for herself.
We know: Writers write.
But to whom?
Most often than not, writers write for someone they don’t know. In case of a blogger, the audience is their readers.
But for a writer working for a corporate, the audience is much wider, ranging from tech experts, to teachers, and even doctors. And oftentimes, the writer is so focussed on conveying a point to so many people, that she forgets that there’s reader within starving for attention.
When we write, we talk. We convey out thoughts to another person in such a way that we hope they understand. But do we even understand ourselves? Do we ever feed our own soul?
When we’ve been writing for so long for others — to meet criteria that fit external causes, to write in a way that others would agree or appreciate — that we lose our sense of personality.
We become writers who write what needs to be written. In other words, we write whatever we need to, to get the point across. Or, being honest, to pay the bills.
What’s then, the difference between someone who chose a professional career because that pays more and a writer who chose to write because she wanted to write?
If a writer is to survive (soul-wise), she needs to write something other that what others tell her to write. A writer needs to write imperfect prose. Because no one who writes for themself cares how it reads, it’s all about communicating your deepest desire; not just getting the right tone, the right call to action, and the perfect sentence length to match the design.
And sometimes, a personal journal is the way to go. Think about the days when you could just go, “Dear Diary, Jane was mean to me today…”
There’s something reassuring about writing to yourself. Because when you write to yourself, you write for yourself.
When you just let go of all the restrictions of a writing job, you understand there’s a whole world of ways to say the same thing. It gives you a shift of perspective your narrow-minded job would never approve of.
And that’s the beauty of it. When you’re just writing to make yourself smile a little wider each day, you see that it doesn’t matter what others think of your writing. It doesn’t matter that the word choice is a little awkward or the pun is too abusive, or, that your sentence has no emphasis at all.
Because when you write for yourself, you’re free to write.