Write for yourself, publish for others

I’m trying this idea out.

Write for yourself

The purpose of writing should be for yourself.

Writing is your chance to process the world, to organize those thoughts that are buzzing round your head. To reflect and discover something you didn’t know.

Writing should be a selfish pursuit.

Publish for others

The purpose of publishing is to benefit other people.

If you are going to share something, it should help other people. It can help you as well, but publishing should primarily be for other people.

Your thought or idea can be incomplete and you may want feedback to develop, but there should still be a benefit for other people. After all, if there is no benefit for other people, why would they give feedback?

Publishing should be a generous gift.

My approach

I’ve long taken this approach to my writing but I never really codified it. My notebook and day one are full of selfish writing and reflection but my blog posts aim to be useful for everyone.

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  1. @ChrisJWilson Sometimes I will make a post on something I’m interested in but I doubt anyone else is interested in, just to test the waters. Sometimes the response has been delayed, and interest only came after the post started ranking in search engine results and the audience was wider.

    But still it is better to stick with subjects you want to write about. OTOH don’t discount topics that you know and like just because you think nobody will be interested.

  2. @bradenslen My best friend and I played we were The Hardy Boys, and even drew fantasy book covers about them, and at one point we even started on a book, so yes, they were very important to me as well. And after dealing with severe anxiety some years back, the first books I turned to for getting back into reading was The Hardy Boys.