Pink Elephants Under a Purple Moon

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to find that, not only had people read my posts, but they actually liked them.  My immediate reaction was, “Well, now I can’t post anything new – what if they don’t like it and decide to ‘unfollow’ me?”  That reaction was succeeded by, “Well, actually, now I have to write more posts because people have ‘followed’ my blog and I need to provide them with something to read – the implication of ‘following’ me is that there will be something more to ‘follow.’”

Nevermind the fact that, ultimately, any writing I do is for me.  Yes, I want people to enjoy what I write.  I would like them to find it interesting, enlightening and informative.  I want people to find my writing fluid and easy to read.  And I LOVE the fact that I have already had positive responses to what I have posted here.

However,…none of that really matters.

I have written numerous academic papers over the years.  I wrote them because they were required of me, but, for example, I never once wrote anything on engineering or biology.  I am a social scientist.  Even if the actual writing was like pulling teeth, the subject was always something that interested me.  I wrote what I thought was important and engaging (…except for those times when I threw some “crap” together at the last minute, which always turned out to be better than I thought while I was writing it).  And these papers always seemed to please my professors.

I need to remember this, and not be afraid of what other people think of me or what I have written.  How will I ever gather the courage to show my fiction to anyone if I fear what people think about my blog posts?

If I start writing for other people, then what I produce will inevitably be sub-par.  So often I have heard the phrase “write what you know,” (which is not un-true).  Well, more recently (thank you Chris Baty), I have heard “write what you love,” even if you are the only one who will enjoy it or want to read it.  If what I want to read involves pink elephants singing and dancing under a purple moon, then that is what I should write.  This is especially true for the stage I am, more or less, currently at – the beginning.

Be fearless in my writing and write for myself.  These are my lessons for the day.

…Now on to that pesky last dissertation chapter.

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Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Pink Elephants Under a Purple Moon

  1. I am with you on this, Marilyn. I am a songwriter, and like it very much when people listen to my songs. I find it absolutely delightful to learn that people love my songs. But, ultimately, I write because I just need to express myself. I write for me. I’ve started my very first blog here on http://wordpress.com a few days ago, and only had written a couple of posts, but I enjoy it so far:-).
    it’s like a Diary I never had.

    • Thanks for the comment nyparrot! And welcome to the world of blogging. I’m relatively new to it too. “Like a diary” – that is a very apt way of putting it. I DO feel sometimes exactly like I’m writing in my diary.

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