Writing for myself

I made a post last night about giving up writing, I was was frustrated at the lack of feedback I have gotten across all platforms and the irony is that when I made this post, I got the feedback that I had one wanted. But in reading the comments on my blog and Facebook, I realized something, my writing at times has been self serving. It hasn’t been about a means of therapy for myself ( which is what it started out to be), it hasn’t been about helping people although I thought it ( other than myself), it’s been about getting validation, feedback, praise, and that’s not why we write.

I think we should write for ourselves, because we are confident in our words, thoughts and feelings and not worry so much about how our writing is perceived.  Oftentimes, my ego gets in the way, a part of me wants to get credit for being a “Great writer”, when the only critic that matters is myself.   Writing is about expressing oneself and speaking from the heart, that’s how I started. I started out sharing the rawest deepest feelings, I hadn’t shared with anyone and it was so cathartic, I felt this weight off my shoulders and when I realized my writing was affecting people in a positive way, I soared but sadly I took the praise too seriously and that’s where I am today.

I also play into the comparison game, I look at other bloggers and posters on social media and see they get more reactions or shares or comments or whatever and I compare myself negatively as if the amount of likes adds to the value of my writing.  I see other people getting published or writing for magazines and getting accolades and that makes me feel inferior, when I should be happy for fellow writers.. I mean, I have never even tried to publish to an online magazine, I am full of fear and self doubt.   I am  mess of a person with a bit or narcissism sprinkled in, it’s about me, I must have the attention and praise or else I am the worst person on the planet. Man, that sounds terrible but it’s the truth.

So right now I am working on writing, posting on social media without focusing on feedback. Whether I get 1 like and comment or a millions reactions, I am going to share my writing with confidence, with the hopes that it can resonate with just one person ( whether they give me feedback or not)

It is going to be a long road, I am person who struggles with self-worth and constantly needs validation. I don’t know where it come from but it’s always been with me. I used to actually ask people if they liked me ( which of course backfired) and old habits die hard.  If I could only learn to love myself enough where I didn’t external need validation ( because that is unpredictable).   I pray that whatever is going on with me will pass and I can be me again.  Thank you as always for the love and support and putting up with  my bullshit, it’s appreciated

24 thoughts on “Writing for myself

  1. It takes courage to admit all that you have here. I applaud you for that!! I’m sure there are a lot of us that do get caught up in the feedback and validation concept. I know I have to some degree. And it really shouldn’t be about that. Nor should it be about comparing to others. It’s just that simple as learning to simply write for ourselves. Best of luck to you as you move forward!!

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  2. Hey Dave,
    I admire your honesty and your latest post.
    I have said here before that writing is a great therapy, but, I agree with you it is often also therapeutic to get feedback…I love getting notes and reviews from readers.
    I am not sure if you have mentioned reading before, but I have also found so much value in others’ writing. While I was crafting mine, I read numerous memoirs and many writers struggled with anxiety and depression. The good ones said how they worked through it and I found these stories helpful and hopeful, but still realistic.
    Just a thought. Like most of us who struggle with these issues, you admittedly are your toughest critic. We need to get rid of that tendency, and we can. Believe that! We need to be kind to ourselves!
    Reg

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  3. I read the post you mentioned before I read this one, and honestly, I thought to myself “why is he complaining, he has 1600+ followers, I don’t even have 300…” Then I realised that I was a brat and comparing never leads to anything good – so, I apologize.
    I want and need the validation too, I wrote about it before. But I also write for myself. Maybe it is about finding the right balance?
    As long as you are writing, you are a writer, and if only one person reads it, you have an audience.

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  4. Okay, so I’m only on the first paragraph but I had to start commenting. This is interesting for several reasons. You state that you were writing for ‘self serving’ reasons- validation. You end the paragraph by saying “…that’s not why WE (my emphasis) write.” WE. Who is we? You have to care about the YOU first before you care about the WE. It doesn’t matter what ANY of us said- it matters what realizations YOU come to. You said your reasons so my next question is: did writing for validation cause you to change your style and substance of your writing? You say that you ‘used to write about…’ but didn’t say if recent writings were changed to perhaps garner more validation. If it has changed, my suggestion is to think about HOW it changed and if those changes are still part of YOU or if they weren’t true to yourself. Keep the changes that are a part of you and discard those that were solely for other people. As far as the praise your received- why shouldn’t you take it seriously? I mean, don’t let it change your writing, but if someone says they love your writing, that’s awesome and you deserve to hear good words about it. As far as comparing yourself to bloggers and other social media places… well, Paris Hilton does a great series on internet ‘fame’- it’s on Netflix- I’ll find it and get you the name. And finally, I think we ALL struggle with self worth and the need for validation. Some people act like they don’t and some admit it, is all.

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  5. Dave, try to keep a few things in mind–you are beloved by God–you matter and your life matters. Every blogger and writer out there, even the ones you might envy, wishes they had more and is envying someone else; comparison is the thief of joy. Some people are looking at your high follower count and wishing they had that. I like how vulnerable you are about struggling with pride and self-confidence; I and many others share those struggles.

    Lastly, remember the parable about the shepherd who left 99 sheep to search for just 1. Or when Jesus said there is more rejoicing in heaven over 1 saved sinner vs. 99 righteous people. Even if your posts helped just 1 person, that matters. [I’m sure if you read your stats that you affect more people than just 1]

    Blessings to you, and keep writing. ♥

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  6. I totally feel like I needed to see this although I’m a little late coming across it. I am just getting back into world of blogging and I feel like everything I am doing is wrong, when in all reality i’m just moving at my own pace like you in a way. I learned that seeking validation from others and judging my successes from that is no way to live, and neither should you! thank you soooo much for this post!

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  7. Write for that one person who needs to read that particular post. If only that 1 person reads it then your mission is accomplished. God will set up the perfect timing for your post to come across their screen. Much love my friend!

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  8. This blog is a good, no great outlet for you. You should trust your instincts. Writing is in your blood, like in ours. Never give up something you love. Keep forging forward. We are here to hold you up. Remember God is there to strengthen and guide you. We have God in our corner when we don’t believe in our writing. You should ask him into your life. He’ll come into your life. We all have the gift for words and need to use those words to share with the world.

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  9. I share some of these feelings, and have been running my mind down the same lines. The most interesting thread I came up with was one about how it’s one thing to write for yourself, to journal, and it’s another to write for others. You have to be kindof clear on that otherwise it won’t work. I’m glad you got the feedback you wanted at last!

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