Do we choose privacy or publicity with our writing?

Why are writers so critical of themselves? Why is it that we re-write over and over until the words seem to blur into nonsense? Why so often when I write do I erase the whole thing out of embarrassment? I did the same thing to my diaries as a child (ripped out the pages and threw them away so no one would see them.) And it wasn’t that I had written any embarrassing secrets, it was that I just didn’t want anyone to read what I had written.  Usually we want people to see what we write…we want publicity, right? But sometimes writing is so personal that it feels it should be kept to ourselves. Sometimes it flows from our very souls. I think maybe if we shared more of that personal writing we would actually inspire others to write what they want. Not everyone has to write about the same things or have the same ideas. Raw, unedited writing could actually turn out to be a gem. Not everything has to be concise and impersonal. I find that when I free write (as I’m doing right now) I enjoy it more and I flow more than when I plan out exactly what I’m going to say. Sometimes planning is very necessary and useful, but not all the time.
I’m going to try to be more open about my writing. When I find myself pressing the backspace key, I’ll remind myself that to be a writer, one has to make mistakes. And I’ll try to remember that the personal details of my life that I may be debating on whether or not to share, could actually benefit and possibly even change someone’s life. I feel that if I can help even one person with what I have to say, then I have truly accomplished something. Remember, it’s the small things that count!

This is just me, writing about writing again…

Michelle Linda

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