I’ll write for myself, whether anyone else reads it or not.
But then—if I write something, then choose to submit it, or write something and choose to publish it, does that negate my declaration to write only for myself? Does writing for myself mean hiding it away in my hard drive forever?
I mean, probably not. But it still feels a little disingenuous to claim I’m writing for myself only to put it out into the world after all.
This is a debate with myself that’s been plaguing me for the past week or so as I was writing in my journal thinking, “Fuck it, I’m just going to write for the straight love of it like I did when I was a kid.” No holds barred, no plans for any piece, no strict schedules or ultimate goals besides the writing itself. If I have an idea, I’ll put on paper (or screen) once I feel like it. A few days after this personal declaration, though, I discovered a literary magazine that piqued my interest and has me thinking about writing a piece to submit.
What the fuck, right?
I’m sure it’s not as big of a deal as I’m considering it to be. If I didn’t write this post, no one would know the difference anyway—but I wanted to write this. I wanted to work through my own head, invite opinions, and talk it out.
I’m always going on (and on and on) about the way I used to write on MySpace and LiveJournal, and I don’t think I’ll stop anytime soon. I loved the freedom and the openness with which I used to write those posts—on LiveJournal, especially, I actually assumed no one was reading, which made it so much easier to be vulnerable. I dipped my toe into that vulnerability while writing zines but, to be honest, I can’t seem to bring myself to write zines anymore. I’m not sure why; I love the physicality and the aesthetic of them. I adore a good black and white, text-heavy perzine. I loved the process of cutting and pasting. But my enthusiasm for that type of DIY has waned so much since about the time I got pregnant. I might still make an issue of Whatsername sometime this year, but having a blog is just easier, and with writing itself being my real goal, then I’m not going to be too hard on myself about my chosen medium.
I do miss it, though. It’s a little heartbreaking not to feel a part of that world anymore, but my priorities have changed, so my style and approach have changed with them—and that’s okay.
Even if I still have blog posts and submissions and self-publishing in the back of my mind, I think, if they’re not my ultimate goal, then it still counts as writing for myself, writing for the sake of writing. Writing for the sake of the craft. I type these thoughts because it’s the best way to get them out. I’m publishing them because it’s a good way to be able to look back at them, and maybe someone else has a suggestion or has been through the same struggle. Maybe someone is currently going through it. Maybe it’ll help me make a connection with someone.
If not, though, I won’t be disappointed.