Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why write?

I had been really excited about writing, especially about writing my story of having postpartum depression. Then, at the writers' conference, I kept hearing -- don't write your story. Stores don't buy them. Nobody wants to read them.

Since then, I haven't wanted to write. I don't see the point in writing just for information -- what's the fun of that? I want to write about my experiences, insights, struggles, because that's what I have to offer that is unique and valuable, just as I learn from others' experiences, insights and struggles. So, to hear that what I most want to write and most value is something that is not wanted, makes me feel angry.

For whom am I writing?

If I am writing for the adoring millions, the Oprah’s Book Club denizens, then I probably will be rebuffed, rejected, no, not even rejected but simply overlooked. I don’t exist to them. And that's ok.

Am I writing for a publisher, an editor? Someone to like my work, approve of it, approve of me? I am sure before I begin that what I write will not be good enough for them. My internal editor protects me from harm – by silencing me, stuffing me in a box. It's not working for me.

Can I just write for me? Write about whatever I want to say? And in writing for me, write for God, who wants me to use my gifts and to discover new truths, actively by looking deep within myself, and to share them.

In writing my desire to be known and loved clash with my fear of rejection. It is a risky business.

Write what you know.

Write what you need to know.

I have to trust that if I write what I need to write, something good will come of it.

Write what has fed you.

And just maybe, another hungry person will be fed, too.

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