What MUST I write?

Resisting the urge to write for acclamation

You write because there’s fire in your bones. You’ve got to do this whether anybody ever reads it or not.—Eugene Peterson

As a I writer, I’m constantly torn: do I write simply for me, or do I write for the audience who read what I write?

There are things I feel passionately about, things that I feel like I must write down.

But I also love seeing that people are reading what I write. I care—more than I should—about whether a piece get lots of ‘Recommends’ and how many times did it gets shared on Twitter and Facebook.

I notice these things. And they affect me.

Even if I don’t realise it, I start to pay attention to the types of pieces that get noticed the most.

Subconsciously I then find myself trying to write more pieces like those.

Suddenly, I look back, and I’m no longer writing from the ‘fire in my bones’ and instead I’m writing for the acclamation.

I’m lucky, I guess. I’m not paid to write. Being Human is a hobby. That there’s no financial reward attached to what I write though makes it all the more important that I don’t lose the fire in my bones in pursuit of page views.

If ever I’m going to have a space where I can serve the fire in my bones rather than the need for page views, this is it.

I don’t want to waste this opportunity.

And, of course, people are more drawn to writers who write from the fire in their bones.

Photo: Csabi Elter

The wonder of being in a large crowd

Are we watching the stories of others or living our own?