Advice on creating from Now Me to Past Me (not that she’d listen anyway)

Once upon a time, I wrote angsty heartbroken poetry and felt offended if it didn’t move people. I’ve done a lot of growing as a writer and as a human since then and I feel very differently now about life & creative pursuits.

If I could grant my past self a bit of perspective regarding writing, I would say: Try to connect. Try to relate. Try to grow.

Working through your feelings with words is wonderful and I highly condone it and I am proud of you for doing it. By all means, work with where you are and what you know, but keep in mind that from the moment you decide to share your writing rather than keep it to yourself, there is another element to consider: your audience. Honor the power and influence behind your words. Use them for good. Be wary of turning your work into a weapon. Don’t be petty. Don’t be vengeful. Be observant; be wise; be humble (oh, this one most of all). Don’t worry so much about trying to teach others something. Try to teach yourself something.

Write because you are connecting the dots. Let compassion drive your work. Think and feel things outside of your own bubble and then write to encompass more than just yourself. Looking into the mirror is only the first step. Afterwards you must try to be the mirror.

Don’t expect everyone to cry rivers over your work or to receive something profound; instead, trust people to take from your art what resonates and leave the rest. Your story is not for everyone. Some are living other frequencies; let them. The music doesn’t sound as good without all of the notes.

Creating in private is a noble, fruitful endeavor. But creating for public consumption is rather different, and its differences deserve to be acknowledged. When you share your work, creating is only one half of the equation; connection is the other half. You are entitled to create behind closed curtains, and to keep the results that way too. But if you opt to participate in the act of sharing, remember the purpose: to connect.

So, try to connect. Try to relate. Try to grow.


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Typography courtesy of Over