The saddest thought for us, writers, is to think that no one would ever read our writing. However, why entertain thoughts that pull us down, when we can think of beautiful things to lift our spirits? Because it is very critical for us, to have the confidence and clear minds each time we write, and just as the William Zinsser emphasizes on his New York Bestseller’s, On Writing Well.
Personally, being an avid fan of writing, I read a lot of autobiographies of famous writers. Ironically, a lot of big names in writing and literature, either died of sickness triggered by depression or anxieties (or both), or by suicide–thinking no one was reading their works anymore and fame have abandoned them. To name one, was Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899 to 1961), but there were a lot more, like Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter Thompson, even the great Edgar Allan Poe died committing suicide. Some of those suicidal deaths were not even published. However, in respect to our profession (as well as to the departed souls), I won’t delve on how they died. Rather, on the WHY or the reason for taking their own lives–fame (or the death of it) was the common denominator for most of those suicide cases.
A friend (a poet and a fellow blogger too) led me to write this essay. He wasn’t too happy yesterday of his readership. So, I told him, “You know what? You are better than any “wanna bes” out there. Just keep writing! Because you are doing good.” And I mean it; I sincerely do. Actually, my readership is not even a quarter of his. In addition, there are some who can’t even construct a sentence, and he’s not like that (not even an inch closer). In fact, his poems are poignant that too often I find myself sniffing, sometimes, even sobbing (seriously, I did, and for so many times). Nonetheless, if you are on the same boat, I suggest that you finish reading this post, and keep this in mind.
Regardless, if you’re writing or not, or you are writing professionally or not, you can’t rest your happiness on anyone. You shouldn’t even let anyone define your happiness. For more than writing, your well-being matters. However, if writing is your passion, just write with all your heart. If writing is what you do for a living: then you can’t let emotions get in the way of you performing your work. If you are writing for fun: but you aren’t happy with how things are going, then stop! That’s how simple it should be! Because you shouldn’t clog your minds of unhealthy thoughts. Again, more than writing, your well-being matters the most.
Therefore, when you write: Just be confident! Always clear your minds (and vacuum all those unhealthy thoughts away), just as Zinsser remind every writer to do so. Value your readers, but don’t let readership haunt you. Because part of being a writer, is to be creative, but it’s impossible to be creative, if you would “box” yourself, and limit your thoughts with just pleasing your readers. For doing so, you are depriving your writing of your own voice and style. Moreover, we, writers, have to be open minded, optimistic, and imaginative as possible. Most importantly, we shouldn’t think of fame; never think of fame! For many writers like Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson, they didn’t even knew they’d be famous. They just kept writing and remained loyal to their passion until their passing.
Lastly, think clear, and have the confidence each time you hit the keyboard. Write as if you are writing your first love letter; and talk as if it’s your last hour on earth. Bottom line: Think clear, and just write!