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Why you should keep writing (even if no one is reading)

It can be hard to carry on when no one takes you seriously but chin up. There’s more to writing than just readership…

Photo by Jan Kahanek
Photo by Jan Kahanek

Finally, you hit publish

The blog post that you’ve spent hours polishing, making sure everything is perfect.

1 day, 2 days, you wait patiently. Now a week has gone by but only one or two people showed up. You’ve poured your heart and soul into that post but the result isn’t what you expected.

It can be disheartening when no one pays attention to your work. One or two views also make you doubtful of your ability.

But know what? Every great blogger started out just like that. Their first few posts might have been read by no one but friends and loved ones. But they keep going. Write and publish every day. Over time, people start to notice and their post views go to 1000, 2000, etc.

The lesson here is to give yourself time to hone your writing skill and build readership. Make writing your daily habit and write a lot. Because the more you write, the better you get. The more you publish, the stronger your online presence is and more people will turn up to read your work.

But there are more reasons why you should write daily even if no one takes you seriously:

1. Writing brings you joy

The mere thought of typing on the keywords and scribbling on paper puts a smile on your face. You can set aside all the hustle and bustle of life and just write. As you write, you can feel a stream of happiness running through your body, from the top of your head to the tip of your toe.

True, writing can be a pain (e.g. hitting the writer’s block), but that only happens when you write with a wrong purpose (e.g. writing for money or fame). Most of the time, writing is fun and inspirational, especially when you can shut out all distractions and focus solely on putting words on paper. No stress, hurry or frustration. Only joy from transferring your thoughts to the written form.

2. Writing is a way of expressing yourself

During the day, you’ll bump into things, events, people that stir up a wide range of emotions. Writing gives you the chance to verbalize and communicate these emotions with other people.

Moreover, when you have an opinion which can’t always be expressed in spoken language (either because you don’t know how or because nobody listens to you), you can write it all out. No one can interrupt, judge or pity you as you write except for your inner critic. But you have a choice to shut that voice out. It can’t stay unless you want it to stay.

3. Writing helps you discover who you are

Through writing, you can learn about aspects of yourself that you haven’t been aware of. You’ll understand who you are and what you want out of life. Writing allows you to get in touch with your true self, facing your deepest feelings and thoughts. You can’t afford to lie to yourself. You have to express what you truly think about the world. As you write about things that bring you joy, challenges that you face, or problems that nag your head, you also discover the hidden values that make you you.

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t determine the meaning of your life through writing right away. Self-discovering can be a long and arduous journey. Make a habit of writing every day ‒ write what you see, feel, experience and most importantly write the truth. One day, the truth you’re always looking for will unfold itself.

4. Writing is a learning process

There’s more to writing than just siphoning your thoughts to the paper. It can shape you into a better person. Through writing, you’ll learn to be gentle with yourself, to do fine with imperfections, to fight back procrastination and to cast away distractions. And above all, you learn to be true and honest ‒ be yourself.

5. Your writing can help other people

Many people are losing hope, faith, and joy in life. They need someone to show them the way out, someone who understands how it feels to be alone against the world. Your writing can be the torch at the end of the tunnel that inspires them to carry on. From reading your work, people might work out solutions for their problems, discover new possibilities and learn the truth about themselves. They might see the world in a different light and turn over a new leaf.

6. Writing teaches you to be humble

There’ll always be writers who are much better than you. If you keep comparing your work with others, chances are you won’t get much far in your writing career. You’ll see your writing too lousy to be published. So the key is to stay humble and keep learning. Writing and publishing on a regular basis allows you to get feedback from readers, fellow writers, and editors (if you submit your work to a publication) and grow your skill.

Writing forces you to open your eyes to the world around you ‒ to read more, feel more, and observe more so that you can get ideas for writing. The more you learn about this world, the more you realize how much you don’t know. So in a sense, writing keeps you humble and open to more knowledge.

7. Writing slows you down

You may want to write a 1000-word blog post, but it’s impossible to write 1000 words all at once. You have to think about writing purpose, brainstorm ideas, write your first draft, and polish it before hitting publish. Writing is a process that can’t be rushed.

As you write, you may need to slow down once in a while to refine your thinking. Once the draft is finished, you may still have to incubate a few days before editing to get the maximum result.

8. Writing teaches you to be truthful

You can lie to the world with external changes (putting on thick layers of makeup, wearing high heels that make your feet sore, etc.), but you can’t lie to your writer’s self. Writing gives you the chance to express yourself truthfully ‒ saying exactly what you think about the world. And you have to, otherwise, your writing won’t carry much weight. You can’t impress your readers by writing things you don’t believe in yourself.

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