When You Have To Write

Confidence is an elusive concept, isn’t it? We find it; the bar moves; and then we struggle to keep up in the ensuing aftermath and mayhem. With writing, this bar proves even more transitory, shifting about as often as a New Mexican wind, and leaving a sea of sand in its wake. There’s no shortage of readers willing to dissect your writing and tell you what you aimed to do with your particular piece, while you’re left with a finger up in the air and no one looking in your direction. But rather than achieve a level of anger or aggression and setting out on some level of terroristic destruction, you’re much better served with a few deep breaths, a piece of chocolate, and a reevaluation of why you’re even writing in the first place.

If you’re writing to make loads of money, or for the chicks or hunks, or to prove to the world what a witty son-of-a-bitch you really are, then you may need to reevaluate your purpose, and possibly put your finger back down. But if you’re writing because you absolutely have to write, that you feel incomplete and unfulfilled if you don’t put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, then does it really matter if the world doesn’t see you as some witty genius? Maybe you’re an unrecognized talent that just hasn’t found the right train (there really is an element of luck to publishing success), or maybe you’re only a genius in your own mind.

Isn’t that why all of us write? To gain some sense of self-satisfaction, or self-expression, or giving ourselves a voice where it wouldn’t otherwise be heard, or maybe our brains are hardwired to do our thinking with our hands instead of our mouths. So we put ourselves out there on display, naked as the day we were born. And we don’t have to worry about whether or not people are actually paying attention. Sometimes they will be, sometimes they won’t be, but either way we’re writing because we have to do it, not because we want to do it.

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