I read an interesting essay recently, fully expecting to gloss it over and move on to my next email. But the theme grabbed my mind and wouldn’t let go, and when that happens, when I see it matters to the writers I love, I usually convert the message into a FundsforWriters post.
“While fame impedes and constricts, obscurity wraps about a man like a mist; obscurity is dark, ample, and free; obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded. Over the obscure man is poured the merciful suffusion of darkness. None knows where he goes or comes. He may seek the truth and speak it; he alone is free; he alone is truthful; he alone is at peace.” ~Virginia Woolfe
Imagine being able to write without worry as to what the world thought of you? Imagine writing not caring how many books sold? Imagine just focusing on leaving your deepest thoughts on paper with no ramifications or backlash from family and friends?
Virginia Woolfe said it best when she stated, “the delight of having no name, but being like a wave which returns to the deep body of the sea.” Oh my goodness, I could envision and embrace that feeling. Isn’t that what we crave as writers? To write without repercussions? To write from our most inside place and let it loose into the world then retreat back to our inner self and write again?
When we write solely for profit, our writing often suffers a bit, because we write knowing that it has to be accepted by the masses. We can’t write purely from our inner, authentic self, because we want others to feel our words touch their inner, authentic self. So we become soothsayers, trying to forecast what others need rather than ourselves.
When we write solely to release our candid, sincere thoughts, and yes, I’m including with fiction, we feel a sense of relief, release, and self-sustaining integrity. But we risk not making many sales.
My suggestion is this . . . if you are writing as a career, then you must write somewhat for the public. However, somewhere along the way, write something that is yours. Write something that reconnects with your true being. Feel honorable and principled writing for one person, yourself. You never know . . . that might be your best work.
BIO: C. Hope Clark is author of The Carolina Slade Mysteries and The Edisto Island Mysteries, and founder of FundsforWriters.com