Write On, My Friend

Warning: Highly editorial content ahead. May cause feels. May result in irritation.

Write on, my friend. Though only the paper sees your words, and only the pen is washed clean inside with their meaning, write on. Only through writing will the writer live, and only through writing will his mind be set free.

Sometimes as a writer, especially a self-published or unpublished writer, we feel defeated when we think nobody is reading our work. Sometimes we labor for years on a story, suffer through everything our myriad characters suffer through, only to experience the ultimate tragic ending: to not have it be READ. There is something heartbreaking about lovingly creating an entire world only to have it, seemingly, ignored by readers.

As writers, we are all aware of how much of ourselves we put into our work. Few can say that nothing of themselves ever ends up on that page, that they’ve never created characters that don’t echo something within themselves. It’s hard not to take it personally when our work does nothing but gather dust on a shelf. It’s hard not to feel that it’s a reflection on US.

What we should remember is that we don’t have to write for other people. We don’t have to lay the lives of our characters on paper for the neighbor to read, or for some random person that finds it on the internet or while browsing a bookstore. We can write for the story itself. We can write for the sake of writing.

Relish the feeling that comes when you complete a story. Rest peacefully in the knowledge that you accomplished something, that you created something. Selling stories does not add value to your work, creating them does. If nobody had ever read Poe, or Kipling, or Shakespeare… would their work have had no value? Let your work stand on its own, even if it stands alone.

Writers are creatures of many layers, and we all write for different reasons. I’m willing to bet, however, that very few writers get into the line of work just to make money or get famous. Most of us will write for more personal reasons. Remember those reasons and don’t let money or sales cloud over your dreams.

Write on. Keep creating amazing things. Pour your damn soul out on the paper and stand back and say, “I did it. I’m a success. I’m a writer.”

Nothing can stop you.