Why Do I Want People to See My Work?

It’s funny, the amount of times I’ve listened to myself saying something along the lines of; ‘I just write for myself really.’  Or; ‘I write because I have to.’  If these rather cliched statements are close to the truth, then I have to ask myself why I want my work to be read at all, and why I’m trying so bloody hard to make it a reality.

So what is it that makes me pursue an audience and is there any truth in those statements mentioned above.  I think that there probably is truth in them, quite a lot of truth in fact, and I also think it’s those very sentiments that lead onto the desire for an audience.

When I first started thinking of this question, three things jumped out at me as possible answers; the first was satisfaction.  To get someone to read your work, and like it, (that’s the key thing here), is just a good feeling.  It is human to want praise, to have done something that someone else takes enjoyment from and relates to.  It helps bond you to others, I suppose, if you can share something and find common ground in it.  Secondly; reassurance.  Just the simple fact of knowing that what you are writing is okay can be a driving force.  I know there are people who write and never share their work, but I think that they must be oppressing the desire to.  and perhaps the third one is just the dream; the hope that maybe, just maybe, the story will get picked up and will make you millions. So it’s money.  And in this case money = time.  And time = more writing.

But perhaps it’s none of those; perhaps it is just that once you give something life it is natural to want to set it free, and that as you’ve spent so many hours on it, it would be a waste to just keep it locked up in the dark.  Surely, the fact that so much time has been spent on it means that it was always created with the intention of seeking an audience, otherwise, why create it?

So yes, I write because I feel the need to; I enjoy it.  It makes me happy.  But I’d also like to get some of it out there, too.  I want it to live outside of my bedroom, outside of my head and in someone else’s.  I’d like the validation that comes with that sharing of stories.

But I have to ask myself; if I knew for certain that my work was never going to be read by anyone else, would I still write?

I’m not so sure of the answer on that one.

That’s all for now.


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4 Responses to Why Do I Want People to See My Work?

  1. julitownsend says:

    Whoa, I love that last question.
    I always believed that my determination to finish and make my first book the best it could be was because I had a message I wanted the world to hear. I believed it was the ’cause’ that helped me succeed in my goal when a lot of my friends gave up on writing.
    Like you, I say I write because it makes me happy, but now I realise that it is the thought that someone else may read and hopefully enjoy or learn something from what I write that gives me pleasure.

    • Thanks for the comment. I’m glad the question had such resonance with you; but I think what you say is also right. Essentially: perhaps our goals change as we develop as writers. When I first started writing, the thought of someone actually looking at my work scared me. Now I actually seek an audience.


  2. captainwafflez says:

    Something magical happens when someone else reads what you have silently slaved over for days.. weeks.. months.. It comes alive in their imagination and hearts, and there is something really special about effecting people in that way with a few crazy words you threw at a screen.

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