Write as if No One is Reading

We’re all familiar with the fridge magnet adages – “Sing as if no one is listening,” “Dance as if no one is watching,” etc. But does that apply to writers? Does it make sense to write as if no one is reading?

Of course it doesn’t. What sane person wants to drag his or her sorry bag of bones out from under the flannel sheets at 5 AM to write a blog that no one is going to read. Well, besides you.

Well, me. Why? Good question. I don’t know why. Nobody’s going to care. Except me.

I’ve been corresponding with my writer friend, PJ Reece, the only person on the planet I envy. A financially independent expat writer living in a charming flat in Mazatland who, when he isn’t taking salsa lessons, lounging on the beach, or listening to live jazz at the nearby plazuela, is ” just trying to finish a fucking novel, which grows in size the more I work on it. It’s out of control, my dramatic thrust has vanished, a red flag that always indicates a problem at the beginning…I must sit back in astonishment at how I’ve manifested this sometimes shabby, occasionally chic, but actually very normal paradise.”

Doncha hate him? He’s also a fine writer, and I’m not just saying that because I’ve known him for 40 years (we were both in utero of course). Check out his blog and find out for yourself. You will be one of the few, as he admitted in a recent letter: “Are you reading my blog? Don’t worry. No one else is either. But here we go…that shouldn’t bother us.”

He’s right. It shouldn’t. Three days a week I get up at 5 AM to work on my upcoming book, “Where Mystics Walk.” It’s my covenant to myself. Will anyone read it? Dunno. I’ve got a bulging inbox full of projects for hire, but writing my February newsletter as well as this blog, neither of which pay, had to come first this morning. Like most wonderful things in life, writing as if no one is reading is not a rational act. It’s far more glorious than that. It’s an act of faith.

So get writing. No  one will care. But that shouldn’t bother you.

“Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.” Don Marquis

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