My favorite Dorothy Parker quote says, “I hate writing, I love having written.” There are days I resonate stronger with those words than any others I’ve ever read. Writing is so incredibly hard sometimes. It’s hard and sometimes that makes it stressful. It’s stressful, so I convince myself that’s because I’m bad at it. Thinking I’m bad at it makes me want to never write again. Rinse and repeat, welcome to my writing process.
I’m far from being one of those writers who think everything I write is fantastic. Most of the time I have to convince myself what I write is even worth publishing. But then I remind myself I’m only writing a blog. It’s not like anyone other than my mother even reads this thing. By the way, hi mom!
Every so often though I put a piece of writing out into the world and it gets attention. Sometimes, very infrequently, something I write gets a lot of attention. People even tell me they liked it, or better yet, that they could see themselves in my work. Novice tip, if you want to make a writer you enjoy reading absolutely flip out, tell them you see yourself in one of their pieces. Guaranteed, you will make their decade.
But obviously comments like that aren’t the only reason I write. I think of it like this: I write primarily for myself, I share my writing for others. There are certain topics I think people can relate to, certain experiences I want to share so people know other people are going through similar things. But the writing, getting the words out, that’s for me. It’s catharsis, it’s therapy. It’s something that has to happen.
That can make the sharing scary. Putting this thing out into the world and hoping it means something to someone, that’s terrifying. Because what if it doesn’t? Then I’ve opened my heart up, let word and feeling flow only to be met with silence. If given the option, I prefer the alternative.
I’m going to continue writing for myself, in an effort to keep my mind habitable I think I should. I will also continue sharing what I write in the hope that something occasionally resonates with someone. If I’m lucky maybe they’ll even tell me if it does. It would be a nice reminder of why I love having written.