Creative Writing Online: Are You Really Up to It?
When It All Becomes a Little More Than an Addiction
"Create. Not for money. Not for fame. Not for recognition. But for the pure joy of creating something and sharing it." ---- Ernest Barbaric
The other day I deleted hundred poems from my total writer's opus of 360 articles/poems written in short time of two years. In part, I did it so that those internet thieves have less to steal.
Namely, whose writing enthusiasm wouldn't hit a cooling stage after noticing a bunch of their stuff posted on Facebook by some poor idiot with no writing ability of their own.
However, when it's about poetry--- truth be told---I never considered myself to be much of a poet. That didn't change even after a reader, generous with praises wrote: "Val, poetry is where you shine". As flattering as it felt at the time, it didn't say much for my main form of expression---articles about psycho-philosophy of living.
So I saved a poem or two, not necessarily because they were particularly brilliant, but for the heck of it, just to show how I have tried myself in poetry. However, when that "trying" mushroomed into something big by size---not necessarily by the readers' feedback---I knew it was time to stop playing an online poet.
That's basically where I am starting to taper down my writing activities.
However, what prompted me the most to downsize my writing was the hours consumed by this hobby. My topics didn't require any research, since all ideas came straight from my head. And yet I was catching myself in some other activities obsessing in my mind over my next theme to write about.
It was turning into an addiction, and that's why it had to go, just like did my smoking, coffee drinking, beer, and sugar.
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 coming in form of comments under their masterpieces.
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.
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.
Those accolades and reader's praises 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 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 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?"
There are a few of such friends that I have, and after some of them, now in my age group, have not made an appearance in anybody's comment section---I caught myself being genuinely concerned about their health.
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 is not to replace those even scarce at times signs of appreciation coming from the known folks of our life.
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 on a stage where applauses often come out of sheer politeness and readers' good heart.
As for those few online super-achievers with a full life on the side---more power to you, just keep following your bliss!