TO WRITE FOR ONESELF

UNOFFICIAL BLOGGING INSIGHTS

Dr. Tanya usually appears with her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. However she let us know she won’t be doing one this week. We hope Dr. Tanya will be back again next week. Fandango has stepped into the breach.

Here’s the quote:

“You must write for yourself, above all. That is your only hope of creating something beautiful.” – Gustave Flaubert

Regardless of how many say they don’t care what others’ think and only write for themself, that’s rubbish. If we only wrote for ourself, we’d keep a diary, not a blog.

The words we choose will always be ours. Who else’s could they be? We are always writing for ourself, but we want our words to reach out. We want to touch our readers. Maybe we want to change the world or help others to change it or just to touch their hearts. Always, our words are reaching. Every time I find I’ve changed the world a tiny bit for someone, no matter how small the change, I feel a hint of hope.

In the final analysis, all our words belong to us. Inevitably we write for ourselves, but the words are not for us. Writing is complicated. The greatest joy of blogging is its immediacy which is also its greatest peril. I have learned through painful experience to write how I feel, but never publish it until I’m able to read it dispassionately and decide if that’s what I mean to say and how I want to say it.

I always leave anything potentially controversial for a day or two as a draft. I read it again. I edit. If I’m not happy with it, I delete it or put it back into drafts. I have sometimes left posts as drafts for months and finally, found the right words and was ready to publish it. Sometimes, I trash it.

Not everything I write is worth reading. It’s really important to remember that.

Write for yourself, but make sure the words will make sense to the rest of us.

No matter what you say, you aren’t writing for yourself. You are writing for me and everyone who reads you. What you say matters. Make it ring true.



Categories: Anecdote, Blogging, Challenges, Writing

Tags: , , , ,

9 replies

  1. I journal quite a bit. It’s not creative writing unless I do poetry. But it’s essential for me in a Spiritual way. If I’ve got a problem or a question I journal it. SOMEBODY is actually listening and I hardly ever fail to get an answer in some way. The answers can be rude, humorous, or just left to my devices. In all, it’s about Love.

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  2. Totally agree.

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  3. A new perspective is something you always bring to me in your writing. I’m a staunch ‘numbers? I don’t need no stinking numbers” person and I always felt I have written for myself, but your perspective is true too. Why not keep a private diary if you don’t want readers? Granted I’ve used this platform as just such a thing, I have about 45 posts that are marked private and eyes only, because the words needed to be expressed, but it’s doubtful that it is the sort of content that most people would want to read and it’s private besides. Thanks for the fresh eyes!!

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    • I figure if you are going to publish something, you need to hear or read it with “other” ears and maybe, another mind. That’s why FB is so awful. All those people who just spew whatever they feel like onto the platform. Yuck.

      I’d never put ANYTHING on my site I wasn’t planning to publish because it’s WAY too easy to accidentally publish it. I’ve done it MANY times with pieces I hadn’t finished, hadn’t edited, or was planning to hold as a draft. That’s just annoying. Luckily nothing (yet) that made me want to run away and hide (so far).

      It takes just one slip of the finger and you can never take it back. The “instant-ness” of blogging is both it’s strong point and it’s worst fault. Allow me to suggest you copy those posts you aren’t going to publish, paste them into another document (google doc?) then save them someplace safer than WordPress. Delete the originals. You can always change your mind later as long as you’ve saved them.

      No matter HOW quickly you unpublish something, 10 seconds of accidental publication and your entire list of followers have gotten it AND it’s in the Reader.

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  4. You’ve said it so well Marilyn

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