The past week I’ve been taking care of a million things. I’m back to work after two weeks off, and there are a ton of projects to take care of around the house. I’ve been too busy and distracted, but things are slowing down and I’d like to get my head space back in the right place.

I need to get the words flowing again. I will start reading again, now that my eyes are doing better, and I think that will help. Audio books just don’t seem to be my thing (I tried!). I’m also considering writing a few pieces of fiction just for myself, before diving back into the novel.

Up till now, I think that all the fiction I’ve written has been written to share, even if it was just for one other person. I don’t think I’ve ever written a piece for myself. I think there could be some pleasure in that, being entirely selfish and self-indulgent. I may do it as an experiment to figure out what I’m really interested in writing.

I won’t ask what you’d write if it were just for yourself. Do you do this? Have you ever done this?

18 Comments to “Self-Indulgence”

  1. This is the best idea. I have definitely done this, and it can be really fun (and educational). So many writers are constrained by something (genre requirements, commercial expectations, word count, etc.) that I think it’s really important to just let it all go from time to time.

    And don’t rule out that possibility that the thing you’re wrting for yourself might end up being something for others to read as well:

  2. I think one of the best bits of advice I’ve ever heard about writing is that, first and foremost, you have to write for yourself.

    I always write stuff that I think I would like to read, stuff that excites and interests me. If an idea isn’t exciting to me, if it isn’t something I’d want to read even if someone else wrote it, then I’m not sure I could find it in myself to push on with the project.

    That said… having people fall in love with what I wrote is pretty awesome, too.

    1. I always do that too, but some writing is too personal, too embarrassing, may infringe on copyright LOL It can be being freeing not to worry about mary sues, cliches, or pop culture, and just experiment. Hrm, I used to do this, but haven’t for a long time…

  3. Hm. Absolutely I write things just for myself. But are those things usually fiction? Probably not. I write a lot of letters. Bits and pieces of memories. Diary entries.

    I guess I do freewrites sometimes, and that’s fiction that isn’t meant to be shared.

    (But as Anthony said, if I end up writing something I really like, I’ll share it, hahaha.)

    And I agree with Stephen, that first and foremost we should please ourselves. At least then we’re guaranteed one happy reader. 😉

    (And typically if something interests you, it’s likely to interest someone else. Transitive property of human nature.)

    1. I think I like what I wrote *giggles* but it feels like a guilty pleasure. Maybe one day I’ll share it. It’s not bad writing wise (I think), nor is it smutty, if that’s what people are thinking. Just personal.

  4. Writing for myself is a sticking point, especially since it’s become my career. I’ve written a few things that were purely for me, no publication possible, and found them dangerously addictive, leaving me with no desire to work on anything else but their mushy-plotted, mushy-hearted, preposterously magical selves. The tipping point was taking the soul of that sort of writing and bringing it into something others would want to read, splitting the difference between self-driven and other-driven work. It’s a furious struggle. Good luck in working just for yourself – you deserve it, TS.

    1. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem (getting addicted) 😉 Its a good thing to figure out the heart/core of what you enjoy writing though. It’s been a while since I touched base with my heart’s desire. I think it’s a lot like a check that I’m still going in the right direction, and not too bound up by expectations.

    1. I have a bunch of those too 😉 It’s always nice to have some things that are yours and yours alone. Also, there are some stories which will have personal meaning, whether or not they’re publishable!

  5. Wow, before I read this, I had just closed down tonight’s writing session, which was the piece I’ve been writing for myself. It’s my experimental novel, toying with ideas that’ve floated around in my head for a while. It’s a little wild (It’s a sci-fi) so I’m not really writing it for publishing. But I—we all need to get our ideas out somewhere! I have a journal but some things are worked through in fiction.

    GO FOR IT!!!!!

  6. I absolutely LOVE the idea of writing just for ourselves – even if it morphs into something different eventually, just to have that feeling at the outset is amazing. In a way, I think every manuscript I’ve written has begun that way. Do they end up being something to share? Yes. But there’s always a nugget there at the start, this feeling of writing for nothing but joy – and for the characters – and it’s my very favorite point in the process.

    Good luck with your experiment! 🙂

  7. A little late to the game here, heh, but yeah! Like JP, I like keeping journals sometimes–some for fiction or ideas I may or may not ever share, & some for more personal stuff. (Did I tell you I used to roleplay on forumns? LoL) Also, sometimes if something is bothering me or I’m frustrated, I’ll try to write about it & suss things out that way.

    Can be therapeutic!

    1. I used to do that too (roleplay on forums) hehe! Friends and I even had our own shared world we wrote about. Many many good memories and words later, now I’m writing on my own.

      And yes, it is definitely therapeutic 🙂

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