I received a question from a reader recently that I wanted to share with you.
She asked me if it was okay that she wrote hundreds of pages every year when she had no intention of sharing her work.
Was it still worthwhile? she wanted to know. Was it a waste of time?
I wrote back,
“We write first for ourselves. We write to understand our world, to process our wounds and scars, to shape a story we can make some kind of sense of.
This is holy work, essential work. This is work that must not be downgraded as less than because it is not for sale.
This is also how writing for others begins.
To boldly declare ‘I will write a book’ is great fun but then you must have something to say.
If you have not been writing to understand yourself and your world, if you have not been paying attention to life, where will that something come from?
Joan Didion famously said, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see, and what it means.”
This is the root of so much great work.
Please keep writing.
You deserve the gifts of writing first and foremost.
And then if someday you want to share what you write with more people, you will have something meaningful to say.”
From the national best-selling author of The Woman’s Comfort Book and Why Bother.
5 Ways to Start
Your Non-Fiction Book
You can write your book faster, easier, and better.
I’ve written 9 books with about a million copies sold.
I’m not one of those creepy people who make it hard to unsubscribe or email you again nine years after you’ve unsubscribed. Giving me your email is like a coffee date, not a marriage proposal.
I want to add that I work with writers who want to write for an audience and I work with writers who don’t. They write for other reasons.
I don’t consider either kind of writer less worthy– it makes me sick to my stomach to even consider that idea.
Our productivity success crazy culture can hijack our fundamental human freedom and dignity to have a voice, to express what we experience, and to create because we love it.
Do not let that happen.
Writing is self-making.
Writing is how you understand the world. Me too.
And if you do want to write a book for others to read, that book must be rooted in how you see and experience, and understand the world.
If you want to write a remarkable book for others, pay attention every day.
Honor your thoughts.
Honor your perceptions.
Cultivate your life.
That’s the basis for it all.