*Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Stay updated on all the latest freebies, tools, and resources by joining the Writerly Things Newsletter.
SUMMARY: Deciphering your passion for writing is only step one; but it is the most important step in the process towards a whole being. Writing for yourself only means that you write what you love. Don’t get sucked into the fast-and-fading trends in the publishing world. What you love is enough.
We’re going to talk about something a little different today. We’re going to talk about writers, about THE writer, and why we write. If you’re writing just for the sake of money, there are easier and faster ways, so don’t waste your time.
But this channel doesn’t cover any of that. This channel covers the grit. It covers the hardened and difficult path writers and aspiring writerly entrepreneurs take to success. We cover motivation, inspiration, guidance, and advice for aspiring creatives. Though we’re specifically geared towards writers, any creative or aspirational entrepreneur can benefit from these stories and lessons.
Anyways, back to today’s topic: Writing for yourself. There are hundreds of reasons why you should write for yourself, but before we go into that, I’m going to explain exactly what I mean.
What does writing for yourself actually mean? Writing for yourself just means that you write the stories you want to hear and “to hell” with everyone else. This also means you aren’t writing for the market. When the Big 5 start blasting out tons of paranormal fiction or dystopian or contemporary, just know you don’t have to follow that trend and that sometimes in chasing that trend, you’ll find yourself uninspired and unmotivated to persevere.
When I started this journey, I just wrote. I wrote the story as it came out of my head and, while it wasn’t the best at first glance, after a few rewrites and revisions it started to sparkle. And this process didn’t take a few days, weeks or even months. It took two-and-a-half years from the first work of the first draft to the last work of the last draft.
Why Should You Focus On Yourself?
You should focus on yourself and, as selfish as that might be, you should write the story you’d want to read. This mindset works in several ways, but the main reason I always articulate is that you aren’t going to stick to something if there’s no passion behind it, no personal justification.
Only when we truly care about something, truly love it and enjoy doing it will we make the time and excuses to actually get it done. If you enjoy it, you’ll make the goals needed to complete the project and stick to those goals like glue.
The second big reason is that when you find your passion (in this case, writing), then you’ll do everything you can, soak up every morsel of information to grow and foster your abilities. And then you can take the tools and tricks you’ve learned and tweaked to personal perfection and share your experiences with the world and your potential readership.
Does this mean you’ll never make money as a published author?
This definitely doesn’t mean you won’t get paid. In fact, this means you’ll be able to actively cultivate a following and inspire others, because you’ll be so enthralled with your work that you can’t wait to share it with others. Of course, it’ll be daunting and worrisome to be putting yourself out there, but in the end your work will grow from the effort.
Writing for yourself is an imperative component to the writing process and the exact thing that sets you apart from every other writer out there.
Long story short, when we do the things we love, we attract like energy and the people who find themselves surrounding us often become our top cheerleaders, whether they be the people who follow your YouTube channel, Instagram account, or the people in your reading and critique group.
ACTION STEP: Determine your passion (and if you’re here, I assume that’s writing) and go full-force into it. Don’t quit your day job just yet but remember your love and strive to be the best at what you’re doing.