Creative Writing Online and Its Place in Writer's Life

Updated on November 12, 2018
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

That Need for Literary Self-Expression May Turn into a Sweet Obsession
That Need for Literary Self-Expression May Turn into a Sweet Obsession

Inner Drive of Creative Writing

"A writer turns to paper to stem a burble of pain, shut the door on sadness, and allow the mind to release unsavory obsessions." ---- Kilroy J. Oldster

It may not take long for an online writer to realize how their new passion is not predestined to draw a significant readership for as long as it's of a creative, not informative and instructional character.

However, by the time they have come to that somewhat discouraging fact, for many of them it's next to impossible to stop, and that's not only because their creative impetus has become too strong in them.

Namely, a creative writer is, by definition, someone who is in this business of expressing themselves, rather than informing, and that need for self-expression tends to get slightly overblown after those, even if not too many praises come in form of comments under their creations.

Now, not that I am about to "rain on anyone's parade", but the simple fact remains that over a time expressing oneself becomes more of a driving force than really "catering to the writer's market".

There is something of a need in many creative writers to attain as many of those praises as possible, while they are selectively presenting themselves through their particular talents.

"Selectively" would be the main word there. After being assessed by those close to them for their imperfect human totality, some may see this golden opportunity to sell their selectively composed self-image around the world.

Well, we are only humans, and it feels good to participate in a community of writers and readers where we can be recognized for qualities which we see as our strong side.

There is not just an artistically presented contents which we crave to express, but sometimes more than that it's a dominating emotion in our personality makeup.

For instance, while a poet will express their heart-felt sentiment about their experiencing different aspects of life, a dude with an angry mentality will find something to fuss about in their articles. And a depressed writer will imagine some sympathizing, supportive souls among their readers.

Well, creative writing, whether poetical, critical, inspirational, or otherwise, certainly may feel like a sweet addiction pretty hard to quit.

An Admiring Look Still Waiting to Happen?
An Admiring Look Still Waiting to Happen?

Praised by Wrong Folks?

"It comes a point in which you don't know if you write books or the books write you" ----Robin Sacredfire

Sitting for some hours at my laptop just wasn't much of an advertisement for the topics of my writing, in which I was clearly suggesting that people get some life---some quality time shared with those they claimed to love.

Besides, it's not healthy---for eyes, back, for circulation, and because of those harmful rays emitted from the screen. There are many other solo-hobbies which don't steal our mind from other important aspects of our life---like online writing does.

For, writers don't realize that their minds are in a constant state of "incubation" in which something is brewing and maturing for the next thing they will write about. Trying to avoid a writer's block, they may desperately keep looking around for an inspiration, not realizing that they are not really present in their life and with those they share it with.

Reader's praises of any form are further doing a number on their life, as they don't get that much of it from the people around. What was the last time their husband, or wife, or boss, or friend said to them: "Wow, you are brilliant!"?

Those words of recognition are like a balsam to ego which may have been through some starvation times, with no one around really offering that congratulating pat on the back.

Which brings us to this advantage of gaining some cyber-friends among the fellow-writers. Isn't that great---we don't have to exchange Christmas presents, don't have to listen to each other's complaining tirades about our dysfunctional relationships and deteriorating health, and otherwise don't carry the responsibility of that friendship's maintenance.

Months may pass without hearing from each other in those sweet words of praising comments, and no one is really asking: "Where have you been, I've been missing you?

But, as far as my case is in question, I shouldn't really include it under this subtitle of getting praises from wrong folks---this for two main reasons. First, I am one of those oddballs who doesn't "expect" much loving from others, even though every bit is appreciated. And second, I am receiving more than a "bit" from everyone around me.

That brings us to a conclusion, which would question every online creative writer's true motive for being that. Maybe the pleasure of being recognized by some unknown mass of the world's readers should not replace those even scarce signs of appreciation coming from the known folks of our life.

Writing About Life Can't Replace Living It
Writing About Life Can't Replace Living It

To Be or Not to Be

"Enjoy the little things of life, for one day you may look back and realize they were big things." ---- Robert Breault

To write online---or to have a life, somewhat reminds of the Shakespeare's: "To Be or Not to Be", and in a remote sense means the same. Writers, those passionate ones---and they are the only ones that qualify to be called "writers"---carried away by their creative Muse, tend to forget that creativity is best used in one's own life, so that it doesn't become something to escape from into fictional creations.

Many will protest that their life is just fine, and writing is just a dear hobby. But, again, it's one of those things like being a musician---it takes hours of rehearsing, and hours of performing in a constant effort to make the next one at least as good as the one that deserved that last applause.

Writing is actually not a hobby, it's a way of life. Hobby is fishing, collecting postal stamps, knitting, cooking---anything that starts without much mental preparation and finishes without carrying over the mood of it onto the rest of our daily activities.

Is all this meant to discourage creative writers, or the hopeful beginners?

Not at all. But it carries a message to all of them to examine their life making sure that writing is in a sort of a good balance with the rest of their life where an emotional engagement is a must.

Furthermore, I tried to point out that we might try to get recognition from those around us, without escaping onto a stage where applauses come from strangers, as sincere as they may be.

As for those few online super-achievers with a full life on the side---more power to you, just keep following your bliss!

Comments

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    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      13 months ago from Canada

      Alex---It seems like it's not easy to please online reading public with topics that we are most passionate about. Unfortunately, we might make it more rewarding if we borrowed from library a few books with practical "how-to" contents and just rephrase those advices while forgetting about originality. Libraries are full of information---about nature, travel, cooking, repairing---if that's our cup of tea to write about.

      It's writer's decision whether they want to monetize their work, or write for expressing their views and/or talents. And, in any case, it's up to us to prioritize all our free activities by giving each its proper place in our life.

      Thank you for commenting.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      13 months ago from Canada

      Venkatachari---While writing certainly means a different thing to different writers, it stays true that we individually have to assess how much it adds and how much it takes away from our life.

      Thank you for commenting.

    • profile image

      valkaras 

      13 months ago

      Gypsy Rose Lee---First of all, I am sorry I missed your comment of two weeks ago; and on an even deeper level---sorry about your loss of your husband.

      I can only imagine how hard it may be to suddenly have to rearrange all life and give it a new meaning, or better yet---looking for the ways to give life ANY meaning. And in all that process, it's understandable how much writing means to you, along with all new friends you got on this site.

      Your example so clearly shows how it was impossible for me to generalize in my article in a hope that I would cover every single writer. We are all so unique with our own inner world that is not squeezable into any universal molds of humanness.

      Something is telling me that you will eventually succeed writing that e-book, and you will surprise yourself in retrospect discovering how far your talent could take you. This is often the case with introverts whose nature unfolds slowly, with always something new coming out to seek its expression.

      I, for one, wholeheartedly wish you all that you are wishing for yourself.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      14 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Were it so simple to chose to write online or not. You see there are people like me whose passion is poetry and writing. I am also an introvert so the online world suits me just fine. I lost my husband in August and made the realization that the online world is a life saver for me. I am totally alone now except for my cat Sid. I must change my life entirely but for now I am so grateful for all my online friends, followers, readers and so on that give me the only pleasure I have right now in my life. If ever comes a time when I have a life offline then yes, that would be my priority with some writing on the side. My greatest goal now is to self-publish my e-book of poems and hopefully I can do that real soon. Still a bit intimidated by it but hey, what else have I got to look forward to?

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      14 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's a good decision that one needs to save some of his time on other more important activities of life instead of clinging to the machine most of his life. That's why I have also slowed down nowadays in my online activities.

    • AlexK2009 profile image

      AlexK2009 

      14 months ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      I see where you are coming from. i am not addicted to writing but for me writing about things that interest me is a way to understand them better.

      Publishing my writing forces me to understand better.

      Unluckily the things that interest me are not, as a rule, things people want to pay for. Or even likely to click ads.

      Hopefully this will change

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      14 months ago from Texas

      You just reminded me of the time I was playing a board game with my children. They love games, but when my daughter was younger, she was very sensitive. I can't remember what we were playing, bit she was losing the game and getting mad about it. She let her anger take over to the point of throwing a tantrum and making the game less fun for everyone else. So I attempted to explain to her that she should not be a sore loser even when she's being competitive. Her little mind interpreted me as calling her a loser, as in a pit down, instead of a literal person who lost a game. Well, that game ended because she ran to her room crying and I had to go have an entirely different conversation with her. We laugh about it now.

      But I am not hung up on it. Just speaking my thoughts. And yours are thought-provoking to me beyond the loser word. LOL. I would never have thought about creativity being a form of addiction before. More to contemplate.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      14 months ago from Canada

      Hi Shannon,

      It seems you got stuck a little at the word "loser" which I used in the context of spirituality, not in its everyday meaning. In that regard, those folks who spend their lives switched on their automatic pilot, unaware of the fact that their automatic nature is running their show, not their conscious selves---are losers.

      People are not losers because they have human qualities which make them imperfect and bound to make mistakes. Even those highly spiritual individuals who live consciously and awakened make mistakes.

      But losers are those whose whole life is a series of mistakes because they are just pushed around by their emotions and impulses, and then they shrug and say to themselves: "I am just being human". There is no higher, awakened function in the hierarchy of their mental forces to overlook their "humanness", and learn from mistakes, to upgrade their emotional maturity to a next level.

      As for the role that writing online plays in someone's life, well, I am an individualist of my own design and as such I hate generalizing, which always produces a backlash---so, I can't cover ALL online writers.

      Whenever I start with "People are..." I am running a risk of someone telling me "I am not...". I was talking about myself and about some variations of my case.

      And I still think that a great majority of online writers, regardless whether it's a job or a hobby allow their creativity to hijack much of their emotional involvement in other areas of life.

      I also think that all creative activity easily becomes addictive, although we may prefer a more dignifying name for it.

      Addiction is something that forces itself on us, and creative zeal, in order to have an energetic force simply must jump us with its imperative to create, and then we may be only half present in other aspects of living.

      Of course, when it's lukewarm by intensity, then it's also not very productive, and then it's not an addiction.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      14 months ago from Texas

      Hi, Val. I agree with much of what you said. Writing online, for me, was a means of supplemental income for some years. But not at sites like this one with ad share for profit. When I sell articles outright myself or write specific content requested by clients, it has potential to be a job rather than a hobby.

      I see what you mean about writing becoming an addiction. The weird thing is that I never experienced that. Writing is simply a part of me. As I got older, I found that if I lose touch with this creative part of myself I feel very off balance and less fulfilled. Although it can be a temporary escape, in a way, as an outlet for emotions and things I contemplate, it is not an obsession in the way you describe. Writer's block never concerns me unless it is a paid gig. I don't need to concern myself with that because life naturally is inspiration. It shows up in least expected ways often enough and then it doesn't require much time or effort to pen a poem. I do that when my children are asleep or in my free time. The only time it became an issue was when I was working for a company with clients that had deadlines and was first come, first get for the assignments. It did interfere with family life and I had to quit.

      Now, we talked a little about differences. . .I have to totally disagree with one thing you said. Saying we are only human is not a saying to excuse losers. Not in my opinion. It's a saying filled with a lot of truth. Because we are all only human, we all make mistakes or...what was your wording the other day?. . . "It could happen to any of us, including me." Well, that's because we are all only human, including you. Yes, there's more beyond that and personal growth is a necessity, but saying we're only human has so many implications and it is not for losers. That's my two cents on that statement, anyway.

      Quick question now. . .do you make a distinction between those who write creatively, in particular, online and those who, say, go the traditional publication route? Not necessarily of great importance, but you had me thinking about it because success at any career involves a huge level of time and commitment that should be balanced with a personal life.

      Anyway, enjoy your family time. See you around. :)

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