When Nobody is Watching

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

On Fridays, I receive Hope Clark’s newsletter, Funds for Writers. Here’s a thought-provoking essay from a recent email:

You know the song. The one with the lyric, “Dance like nobody’s watching.” You get the meaning. Let yourself be the real you.

You know how you are in the car, alone, when the perfect song you sang to in high school comes on the radio. You belt it out, maybe even attempting harmony.

But when we post our writing online, we do so with the idea that someone is waiting to judge. Suddenly we become more homogenized with the others hanging out there, like ourselves, who are weighing what to say so that the audience likes us. We debate with ourselves on how to write something that will garner applause so that we fit in better.

We don’t want to run the risk of being too different. We often dumb ourselves down, when the crying shame is that there is a uniquely different person behind that screen, behind that pen, behind that keyboard.

The world is crying for sincerity.

The world thirsts for people who are themselves.

That’s not saying everyone should be their weirdest self. Just that they ought to be true to themselves, and that includes in writing.

We too often want to know what’s selling, what’s remarkable, what’s garnering the most likes before we put our own words down, when in fact we ought to do the opposite.

Somebody wrote the first vampire story. Somebody wrote the first sci-fi tale. Somebody dared take fairy tales and turn them into epics of wild creatures on human quests. Write like nobody will ever read it. Dare to bare on the page. Edit, for sure, but get the real you down first and see what remarkable material has been locked away in your brain for far too long.

Sign up to receive Hope Clark’s newsletter here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s