“The second you start doing it for an audience, you’ve lost the long game because creating something that is rewarding and sustainable over the long run requires, most of all, keeping yourself excited about it.” – Maria Popova
This advice flies in the face of conventional blogging wisdom which says you need to focus on writing for a particular audience.
But, what if deep down you want to write for yourself?
That doesn’t mean you don’t want others to read your work. If that were true you could just journal instead of blog.
Personally, when I thought about committing to publishing a blog post every day for 10 years I knew I would have to give myself permission to write what I wanted to write.
If I focused on a single topic, goal or audience I worried I would burn out. I thought, “The only way this will be sustainable is if I write for myself.”
But I struggled with that idea because it felt selfish. It’s what I wanted to do but there was that voice telling me I “should” do something else.
“You should write for others, not yourself.”
“You should focus more on helping others then expressing yourself.”
“You should pick an audience and focus on serving them well.”
Now, I realize I was being reprimanded by The Resistance, disguised as my conscience (ahh, what a dirty little trick!).
So when I read that quote by Maria Popova — someone who gets several million readers a month to her site –(BrainPickings.org), I felt released to do what I wanted to do and write for myself.
It’s not that I don’t care about others. I do hope my writing help others. But writing for others is just not my primary motivation if I’m honest.
I’m doing this because I want to do it.
I’m not doing it to meet a need or out of a sense of duty. I’m writing because deep down I want to.
And I sense that’s a key factor that will enable me to stick to this for the long-term. But we’ll see, right? I’m only 30 days in. So we’ll have to link back to this blog post 9 years and 11 months from now and see if my intuition was right.