Writer Rant: The Danger of Writing for Others

Posted on August 7, 2015 by Bryan B

rantWelcome to Writer Rants–where every Friday a writer just lets loose on whatever the heck is bugging them this week. Enjoy.

 

You just wrote the blog of your dreams. You confidently pressed “Publish”, and you immediately shared the link on your social media platform of choice. You went to bed very proud of yourself, excited to arise to the fawning feedback that will surely be left by everyone who reads your work. You start to think about writing a book, or perhaps trying to make a living out of writing.

Then, you wake up in the morning… and see that nobody has responded to your work. At all.

We’ve all been there before. There’s nothing worse than sharing a piece you love, then not getting that love returned by your readers. It makes you question yourself and your abilities. When that self-doubt starts to creep in – “Am I good enough?” – that’s when you’re in real trouble. And that’s when you make one of the worst mistakes a writer can make.

As freelancers, we all do what we do because we love writing. We love the process and the finished product, and we also love the feeling that comes with knowing that we nailed a tough assignment. However, when a writer is coming off a negative review, or a piece of work that gets no response, it’s tempting to move that last factor ahead of the first two. It’s only natural, but it’s a very slippery slope that can do real damage to a writer’s psyche.

This mindset isn’t just limited to conventional forms of feedback, either. Writing for money can be just as impactful on the way writers view their work. Once money enters the equation, it’s hard to write simply for the love of writing. Instead, it’s this new variable that keeps them going, and it irreparably damages a writer’s perspective. Now, it’s not just about being good enough. It’s also about making money, which corrupts even the purest of motives.

So much of success in freelance writing has nothing to do with the actual art of writing. A large part of the challenge is navigating these waters that get murkier with every additional outside factor. Suddenly, you’re not writing for you anymore; you’re writing for them. And if they have a different view of your work than you do, it can be very difficult to restore the confidence you so desperately need.

It’s at times like these that it’s a good idea to remember who you are, what you’re capable of and what makes you unique. If you get a revision request, it’s not a reflection on your abilities. If your blog audience treats your latest masterpiece with indifference, maybe it’s just one of those things. It’s your job to keep the blinders on and find your own ways to stay positive. The single best way is to ignore the outside voices and listen primarily to your own.

Chasing feedback is perhaps the worst thing a writer can do. Not only does it reflect weakness, but it ultimately leads to a worse product. Professional writers must have the ability to go against the grain, to take a chance when necessary. It’s impossible to go that route if that writer is worried about what someone else will think.

Writer Bio: Bryan B is a freelance writer based in Long Island, NY. He really hopes you liked this post.


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