Writing for Yourself vs Writing for Your Readers

It’s hard to believe that I am finally a published Author. Albeit a self-published Author. It is just one small step to my much larger diabolical plan to take over the world with my mad writing skills. Yes, I am kidding but I do have a bigger plan. I have been writing ever since I was a child but never cared about being a published Author before until last year. Before I was only writing for myself and that was good enough for me. Or was it?

I used to write and then never let anyone read what I wrote. I did that for many years because I was afraid of rejection and thought that no one would like my work. A few times I thought about giving up writing because why do all that work if nobody but me is ever going to read it? But I could never really give up. Something wouldn’t let me. If I went long periods of time without writing, I would get very depressed and start feeling lost. But it took me years to make the connection. I was going through writing withdrawal syndrome. I don’t know if that’s an actual ailment or not, I think I made it up. Writing has always been fun for me but today it is my drug of choice. I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to.

When you just write for yourself, you don’t give a damn about the rules, the spelling, the grammar mistakes, whether what you wrote is accurate or not. There are no deadlines to meet and there are no book covers, no editing except the kind you do for yourself if you so choose. There is no money to be made and no rejection letters from publishers to cry over. No bad reviews to worry about and no pressure to write another book, ever. Why? Because No one is going to read it. You go through life always questioning if you are indeed a true Writer and you ask yourself time and time again “Are you any good at it?” Then you realize that the only thing holding back from sharing your gift with the world…is you.

When you write for the masses, everything changes. The rules must be kept, all of them. You must rewrite the story after the first draft and you must do it until it is perfect or pretty damn near. You must get a professional editor to edit your work before you get it published (if you’re lucky enough) only for the publishing house to take your book and edit it all over again possibly even cutting out that deeply sensitive passage that made you cry as you were pouring your heart out. It will take months maybe even a year or two to get a publisher to take you seriously and that’s after you’ve found an Agent who will do the exact same thing. There is a real process to getting published by a traditional publisher and it’s not for the faint of heart. It can make you want to throw your hands up and say, “That’s it, I’m self- publishing!” But only a choice few become best sellers through self-publishing. I must admit, after writing my first two novels and self-publishing them, I have made up my mind that I want to go with traditional publishing. Yes, it means that it may take longer for the world to read my next book but you know what? In the end, it’ll be worth it. Because not only does my dream of becoming a best -selling Author become a possibility, the pain and the pressure will make me a better writer in the long run. So, it’s a win win, if you have the patience and the drive to keep moving forward and not give up. Because that’s the real key. Not giving up. Until next time…