Recently I was sent a message calling into question the reception of my blog and the writing I do in general. The gist of the message was basically no one reads what I write and I think, as anyone can tell you when someone calls into question the worth of their work, that its a hard cutting question that can cause a multitude of reactions.
So as any person who values their work would react, I got upset. I was upset by the question and the usual thoughts flickered across my mind in a haze of fiery fury! Who are you to question my work? How dare you insinuate my work has no worth! ect, ect, ect. And I think a younger me would have been resentful and a little insecure about the things I write being called into question.
But you know, dear reader it didn’t do those things to me. In actuality it was very helpful.
You see, dear reader there are these moments we get every now and again, just small things, conversations, words, comments or even just glances of people we walk past that make us questions these doubts we have. These things that have been on our mind, chewing at us, recycling over, again and again in our minds, like that initial scratch we give after getting a mosquito bite between our big and index toe. Its a little bothersome at first, but the more we scratch it, the worse it gets until we are consumed by the itch.
I think this question started out like that for me. That initial bothersome feeling as the itch slowly waits to explode, but you know, it also did an important thing, it made me ask myself that exact question to myself. It’s funny that the questions we should be asking ourselves never come from within us but are made aware by these moments we have with the people around us.
So I sat there thinking about the value of my writing and from that question I asked what I think any person who practices something they enjoy should ask themselves: Why are you doing what you are doing? Why do you persist when the there is no reward besides the satisfaction of the task itself. And for myself I found that the answer was exactly the same reason I had started writing in the first place.
Writing for me has never been about the reception a piece of work mine receives. Just as literature is interpreted in many ways, through many different types of examinations and lenses, similar to painting and many other spheres of creation, I want my work to be received in many different ways for many different reasons, including my own.
I think I’m at my happiest when someone takes something from my work that has made them think about something in their life from a different perspective. I’m happy when someone tries to guess why I’m writing about what I’m writing about, who a piece of work is for, or what I was thinking about at the time. All of these things fill me with joy dear reader,
But, that has never been why I write.
I write for the sake of writing. I write because writing gives me a space to reflect the words I have in my head into a physical manifestation of reality. I write because through the pain, through the reflections of my adventures, even for just the whimsical moments I have with myself, I want to bring that into the world. I want to be able to create a reflection of my mind into a space that I feel comfortable enough to share with others and what others get, think or gain from that is merely just a big bonus.
My blog’s tagline is creating infinity through words.
So if you’re out their reading this, ask yourself the same question:
Why do you do what you do?
Is it for yourself?
Is it for others?
Is it for gain?
But I guess more importantly,
Does it matter?
‘Home is where the heart is. Mine will always belong to big books and cozy cafes.’ Mist in Pai Cafe, Pai, 19 April 2018.