About three weeks ago, I wrote an article that I intended to submit to a website I admired. I’d worked with the platform indirectly before, and was really excited to submit my first article. The piece itself was in reaction to a recent new story, and I felt like my stance on the issue was not only in line with my own thoughts, but the site’s readers as well. But then I went to fill out the submit form. And, as it turns out, there was an age requirement I’d neglected to read previously. As you can probably guess, my 17-year-old self did not fit the bill.
I was obviously disappointed not to submit my article, but at the moment I kind of shrugged it off. A few days went by, however, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the piece just sitting there on my desktop. I expected it to feel like a let down, like looking at the invitation to a party you had to skip or something like that. Oddly enough, though, even opening the document and the words I’d labored over didn’t make me feel anything but…satisfied. I was proud of the article, and it didn’t seem to matter that no one was going to read it except for me.
This long train of thought eventually got me focused on one thing: Writing for myself. Outside of journaling, I’m always writing for an external reason, from my classes to this blog to my contributions to Feminist Wednesday. My experience with that unpublished piece, however, made me realize how satisfying it can be to just. write. To write for practice, for meditation, for whatever reason really, but not for a grade or for outside readers. Because even though sharing your work with an audience can be incredibly empowering, it’s also nice to have some piece tucked away just for you. You might read them every now and then, when you need a boost, or maybe you’ll never look at the again. Either way, you know that they’re there, and they don’t belong to anyone but you.
With all that said, I’m going to try and prioritize writing more for myself. Articles and essays are my most comfortable medium, but who knows? Maybe your girl will sneak in a story or poem here and there. When the spotlights are off, you never know what could happen.
Do you write for yourself? If so, what do you like about it/how do you “practice”? This is definitely a new thing for me, so I’d love to hear your insights!