Reasons for Writing
I was about seven years old when I started writing. Poems were floating around in my head, and one day I realized that I could put them on paper.
For a long time, all I wrote was poetry and song lyrics. I have storage boxes level full of work I’ve done since I was a kid.
It was an emotional outlet. A way of purging when I needed relief and I needed more relief than most.
Kids who have great childhoods can still be depressed.
Believe me, I know it makes no sense.
It must’ve been a chemical thing or a wiring problem in my brain. It may have even been God’s way of preparing me for what my life would become. Whatever the reason, my writing became a way to pour out my pain.
In high school, I used writing to impress other kids. Apparently, it never occurred to me to write for the school newspaper or be on the yearbook staff. Nope, I just did homework for other kids. Their grades improved, and they loved me. It was a win for us all!
College was a little different. I published a few of my poems in books printed by the school. Some were published under a pseudo because I found them too personal. I’ve changed quite a bit since then. All my business is out there now.
Tragedy stole my heart for poetry. The old dream of one day publishing my own book of poems is likely gone forever.
After some encouragement, I started blogging. It didn’t take me long to realize this kind of writing is what I was born to do.
Maybe it was the ministry of recovery that I was helping to lead. Maybe it was just time. Suddenly, I couldn’t think of anything but getting my words out of my head again!
Building a website is tough if you’re a newbie.
At first, my blog was mostly about things relating to business, but one day I made an abrupt pivot.
Pivoting is sometimes your saving grace.
It’s perfectly okay to change direction when you’re headed the wrong way.
My pivot involved writing about a subject close to my heart, social anxiety. That opened the door to a whole new world of writing for me.
I finally had something of substance to say, so I said it. I haven’t shut up since.
My writing tends to lean toward the recovery niche.
I write about grief, anxiety, depression, addiction, and other things that we need to recover from. I write from my own experiences and tell stories that are true. I pull the words from my heart. I say things that matter to me and hope they matter to other people.
Of course, I can’t help but notice that other people write to make money. I think that’d be a great idea if it would work for me. I have a couple of problems to overcome if I’m going to accomplish that:
1. The idea of profiting off my writing steals my inspiration.
2. No one seems to want to pay me.
3. I have no idea what to do to make money writing.
4. I don’t know how to get exposure or be taken seriously as a writer.
I’ve read several writers who are super good at making money off their words.
One of the main takeaways is that you can’t expect to jump in and start making money immediately.
I’m cool with that. In fact, you could say I’ve already aced it! I’ve been writing all my life and haven’t made any money YET!
I’ve learned you can’t hope to write about writing, or be an authority on it, if you’ve only been writing on this platform for a short time.
As I mentioned, I’ve been writing my entire life. I’m not trying to pretend I’m the best in the universe or even the country — maybe not even in my small town!
I do believe I have something to offer. After all, I did a lot of kids’ homework in high school, and they got good grades (that’s a joke, by the way)! But I do concede the point. I can’t write about getting paid for writing because I have no clue.
Tons of articles say the only way to get people to read your work is if you’re clearly solving a problem for them.
That makes sense to me. I thought about all the articles I intentionally read and what made me click on them rather than another.
I can only write with any authority about what I know.
I’m not in the business of trying to fix other people. I’m over here, tapping away at this keyboard because I’m writing about my own life.
But do I think that I can help other people with my words? Yes. Yes, I do!
It’s not my goal in life to FIX broken people, but if I can offer comfort or something relatable and it helps them through a difficult season, I want to do that!
Some of my life experiences have really sucked (no sense in sugarcoating it). I write about them to purge myself emotionally, as a written record, and because maybe someone else is walking through the same darkness. If I can throw a little light their way, why wouldn’t I want to do that?
My words are only words.
This isn’t therapy. I can’t heal anyone. However, I believe words do have POWER and can reach parts of you that would otherwise remain untouched.
Maybe I won’t ever make any significant money with my writing. Sure, I’d love to do that! I know it’s possible, but it’s more important to me that my words are read by someone who needs to read them.
I believe that God gives us good gifts so that we will use them for others.
So as long as I’m able, whether I ever make money or not — -I WILL WRITE.
Also published here.