At least ten times a week, people contact me and ask, "who are you writing for?"
My answer is pretty simple, but often said much more eloquently. "Not you."
Yes, I share my writing with complete strangers every single day. But why does it have to be for anyone other than me?
I write because I love words
I was 16 when I wrote my college essay. Yes, I wrote it 2 years earlier than I should have. The topic? "My Love Affair with Words"
Words, their history, and their power have profoundly impacted my life. So much so that they literally permeate every facet of my life. I speak my mind, fight with, agonize over, construct, break-down, and use words every day.
So, when someone asks "why do you write?" I say, "I write because I love words."
I write for my own sanity
Writing is healing, and I'm not just saying that. I'm taking a class right now that explores and discusses the psychologically healing power of writing. This has been researched FOR DECADES. Don't believe me, here's some research.
Now, and I'm not saying this because I want you to feel bad for me; my life is good, but I've been through some shit. I'm a proud weekly goer of therapy. I think mental health something we should all be actively working on. And yes, writing helps me do that.
Even if I'm exploring an emotion in an abstract way and somehow make it beautiful doesn't mean it's for anyone but me. I write for own sanity most of the time.
I write and share my work to show you that you aren't alone
I write, and I share it because maybe, just maybe, something I have to say resonates with you. Maybe it will inspire you. Give you a new perspective. I don't know. When you're a writer and choose to share your work with the world, you don't get to dictate how readers feel about or interpret it. You don't get to play God. But readers also don't get to ask questions about your motives or belittle your intentions. It doesn't work like that.
I write because I love the community
I am not a part of the writing community for fans, followers, or to make money. I'm here because I love writing, and I love engaging with other people who love what I love. I love providing a platform for fucking talented creatives who get ignored by the "mainstream" cookie-cutter view of poetry, artwork, and design because they don't have a PH.D or play the role of starving artist.
Since the first words were ever recorded, writers and creative individuals have flocked together to share ideas and insights. The way we do it has changed, but honestly not really that much.
Maybe people ask me who I'm writing for because they're nosy. Maybe it's because they have similar things to say, but don't have the courage to share them yet. Maybe it's because they're angry and want to call someone selfish.
Either way, I'm going to keep writing for me and continue to embrace and love the creatives I've met along the way. Thank you for being along for the ride, and for inviting me to join you on yours.