Cyril Connolly: For Yourself

"Better to write for yourself and have no public than write for the public and have no self."

I wish every aspiring writer (and blogger) would read this quote.

Writers often idolize penning a best seller as the Holy Grail of writing. I’ve read countless “tips and tricks” that tell aspiring writers the trends in the market (vampires and dystopia!), what people really want to read, and what publishers want to publish, purporting to know the ins and outs of “how to write a bestseller.”

It’s not a bad thing to consider your reader in your writing. In fact, it’s vital. But your reader can’t be the core motivation of your writing. Your reader shouldn’t change what you say, just how you say it. Consider how best to share your thoughts and ideas with your reader, but don’t just say what you think they want to hear.

I see this in blogging all the time. Bloggers will flounder around, jumping from subject to subject, looking for one that attracts readers. I imagine some of them will wake up one day (if they haven’t already) and find themselves with a sizable audience but nothing to say.

Don’t let that happen to you.

It’s much better to have no audience but plenty to say.

You are more than your audience.