This might seem obvious at first glance, but the situation is a whole lot more nuanced than that. I’d like to make a note that I’ve done absolutely zero research for this and it’s all based on personal experience. I’m not a huge fan of big introductions and as such a lot of my blogs will be fairly chill – so let’s dive “write” in.
I’ve learned over the years that any sort of self-fulfillment is more often than not going to be beneficial to you psychologically. If you have a passion of any kind, you know how it feels to snap on a pair of metaphorical gloves and get to work on whatever project you’ve set your mind to. But then comes the question, why do we stop working on our creative passions? Why do we stop writing? If it feels so good to work on something creative, why is it that we can be so quick to kick our projects to the curb?
Well, self-doubt certainly has a huge hand in keeping us from working on creative projects. Will our books be able to compete with the other countless million other amateur writers? My answer to that – who cares?
Your book should only ever be important to you because it is an extension of your soul. I have a philosophy that you should start with yourself, and then work outwards when it comes to literally anything. This includes stuff like dating. First, learn to love yourself, then start to love another. When it comes to your book, ignore the fact that other people are going to read it. Write because you want to write. If this is your passion, then just write. The other people don’t exist.
Now you’re probably wondering, “Gee William, what about when I have to start looking for beta readers? Shouldn’t I at least consider what the audience has to sit through?” You’re absolutely right imaginary reader. When you’re writing the first draft, write for yourself. Put on those blinders, and smash those keys. But the minute you’ve decided that it’s time to for a beta reader to see this manuscript, start thinking about what they are going to read and tailor your edits to fit their expectations.
This is not an easy thought process to adopt, one which sheds all care for the reader while smashing out a first, second, or even third draft – but give it time. Once you know you’re ready for the world to see your book you’ll truly know, especially if you wrote the book to fulfill some itch deep inside of your gut clawing for air. I’ve been writing like this since the start, but I only recently discovered that I was fairly alone in this thought process.
No matter what you create, a book, a sculpture, a song, or even a performance, that thing which you have made is an extension of your essence – it always comes down to this. Your creative passions matter because to neglect them is like failing to brush your teeth. They are a part of you, so treat them as such. always write for yourself, and then once you are satisfied with your work, take a solid few months to edit for your readers.
Never give up on your dream.