I’ve had quite a few questions directed my way, all asking why I haven’t been writing. Was it writer’s block? Had something bad happened? Is my health okay? And I didn’t have a good answer. In fact, I didn’t know the answer until tonight.
I haven’t been writing because I haven’t cared. I know a few people who would say my “give a damn is busted.” Writing, for me, is like air — essential for life. I have to get it out of my system and get words onto paper — all day, every day. Yet I found myself worrying about what people would think, or caring about what they would want to read, get to me.
You see, I shouldn’t be worrying about what you want to read. The only person I should worry about when I’m writing is me. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the five people who read my blog, but I am never going to be satisfied if I don’t write for me. My words are mine. They belong to me and as much a part of me as “The Persistence of Memory” was part of Dali. If you happen to like what I have to say and stick around, even better.
While I may never be a talented writer, I can take solace in knowing I am a writer and that is enough.
It’s funny, I have a relatively unknown writing blog, with a very large number of subscribers, that I have loosely maintained for about seven years. On that blog, I tell people to “write what they know” and to “write for themselves” with great authority. I write that because I know it is a universal truth for all who write. Yet, I haven’t been taking my own advice. Shame on me.
I got stuck in the trap of giving everyone what they wanted and ignoring the most important part in the writing process, me. The past few days, I have written exactly what I wanted to write and that’s why I’m still writing. Because it’s real.
Deep down inside, I’m a storyteller. I take real life and weave it to create something beautiful, and often times ludicrous. You might not like it, but those are my words. They perfume the very air I breathe. And not writing for me, means I’m not giving my best work, not even half-best work. It means I’m working to fulfill the cycle of some machine that screams “content” and “popularity” when I just don’t care. (The same can be said about friendship, but that’s another story for another time.)
I have to write for me. If someone reads it, so be it. If they don’t, that’s okay too. As long as I am writing for me, I can never say I did this because I felt I had to. I did it for me.