On Monday's Writing Tip, I did talk about writing for yourself, its importance and the danger of not writing for others. And I did promise to write how not to write for others as it is not enough to expose a problem and not proffer a solution to it. Here you will learn how not to please others at the detriment of enjoying your writing.
If you are consistent writer or surrounded by writers, you would know there is always the needless temptation to write to impress, the urge to be praised and the desire to be commended. A good number of writers have that tendency. But they have learnt to overcome that writing killer urge and write for only one person they needed to write for - themselves.
You will learn how to overcome that desire too by the end of this article and you will stop writing for people who don't matter but for yourself.
Why do people write for others? That you need to know first. The knowledge of that would help identify the genesis of the problem. Why do writers want to get praised for the art they say they love doing?
One, because we are human. We have flesh and it is a red fluid that runs in our veins. As a result, we all want at a point or the other wish to be praised. Don't engage in self-denial. As human, wanting to be praised especially for an art you are good at, isn't completely bad but allowing the desire to override a more satisfying one - fulfilment of a purpose - is what is wrong.
People also write for others for praise and recognition. Whether you like it or not, as Dale Carnegie said in his classic, How To Win Friends and Influence People, what we all want is self esteem, public acceptance, recognition, regardless of the means each of us find it. That is the cheese we all are looking for in our various maze. But again, that is not completely a bad desire, allowing it to take front seat in your writing is what we don't advise.
And lastly, why people write for others is to proof their mastery of the Queen's language. It is good to use a new word learnt, I preach that too but not at the detriment of killing your writing purpose. If the purpose of using a new word or idiom is to use a newly acquired knowledge, it is alright, just ensure it is appropriately. Using it to command respect is what we don't advise.
Now, how not to write for others. These are long time tested and trusted "how to" by the writer of this very article. So be assured and believe it works.
1. Work immensely on your mind. We are our own worst enemies, say Jeff Goins in his book, It's Never Too Late. The mind is the master. Every action - good or bad - comes from the mind. The desire to please others instead if yourself comes up firstly in the mind. The more the thought resides in your mind, like any other thought, the more powerful and spacious it becomes. So, as a writer who wants to write not for others but for yourself, you need to first of all, work on your mind. Dissuade it from the alluring thought of pleasing others. Tell it severally and on each occasion it is tempting you that, "the only person that needs to be pleased with your writing is YOU" When the mind is conquered, attempts to do other suggestions becomes easy. Without that, others cannot be overcome.
2. Write as fast as you can, not minding if your words are right or wrong. The average writing time differs but pros advise it should be between 30-40 minutes. One of the many reasons is to ensure you write quickly without editing while writing. When you write slowly, you mind what people would say and consequently, tend to please them. But when you write as fast as your hand could, you share your words, thoughts and ideas naturally without influence. So write as fast as possible.
3. Take criticisms positively. Every living human gets criticised at one time or the other. That is because opinions will always differ and experience would perpetually be divergent. But how you react or respond to these criticisms is what makes the difference. When you see it as attacking your personality (some do sometimes), your next article would have it all over written on it that you are trying to please your readers. It would have a resemblance of proofing someone wrong. But when you take criticism positively, as a learning tool, you maintain your cool and will remain as natural as a rainfall. You would see where you can become better and pass your message with more clarity and purpose. Hence, take criticism positively.
Here are how not to write for others. Now that you know, wouldn't you do well to share it with others?
To your writing success, I am committed.
Author, Write To Stardom ( How To Write Irresistible Articles That Keep Readers Glued To You From A-Z)
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