Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Monday, November 21, 2005

Because I can.

That's the answer to the question I just asked myself: Why do you want to post another blog entry so soon after the last one?

It got me thinking about other questions every writer asks him or herself eventually: Why the heck am I doing this? Why is it so important that I tell stories? Why do I want others to read and like them? What makes me think people should pay to read and (hopefully) like them?

I've seen these and other similar questions asked and answered dozens of times on writing boards. But I don't think I've seen anyone use the "e" word as part of their answer.

Ego. I think some of us are needy in that area.

We all need affirmation - to be seen, heard, recognized. As children we needed our parents to acknowledge us. As teens, we needed our peers to do so. As adults, it should be enough that our boss, co-workers, friends and family know us and like us.

But not writers.


We want total strangers to be gobsmacked by our talents and affirm the heck out of us by buying our work or at least becoming fans. Both would be way better.

Most of us won't admit it though. We'll murmur appropriately-modest stuff about writing for ourselves. Maybe about exorcising our demons or performing intellectual calisthenics.

I'll believe this of those whose work never sees the inside of an envelope (or an email) addressed to a publisher. I'll buy it from those who wouldn't dream of blogging in front of the whole, wide world.

But the rest of us -- the ones who know all about SASEs and have to take pains not to end letters to family and friends with "Thank you for your time and consideration" -- if we look into our hearts we'd see the truth.

We have much in common with our 3-year-old selves - tugging on Mom's skirt, saying "Look! Look!" - and needing to hear "I see you."


Dawno said...

I think you just outed my inner child! I used to blog just for myself. Then I started telling people I had one. When nobody ever commented I hunted down the hangouts of online friends and joined Live Journal. There I got some readers. I still posted on and off on my other blog, and eventually got some folks looking in. But when I moved over here to Blogger - that's when I started to get needy. Yep, I wanna be read. I confess.

Frank Baron said...

Ah, an honest writer.

That's two of us....

Unknown said...

You certainly know of what you speak! You just IDed a whole bunch of people. :o) Good blog.

Frank Baron said...

Thanks lady.

(That's three.)

Dawno said...

Frank - time for a new post!

Frank Baron said...

I hear ya Dawn. I was away this weekend. <---excuse

I'll have something else up soon.

Anonymous said...


As you can see, I figured out how to leave a comment. And I even managed to go back and read your title, "Because I Can", before I blurted out, "Hey, that's what Flannery O'Conner said when asked why she wrote."

Sure, I want someone to read and comment and let me know I've affected them in some teeny tiny way. But I don't want anyone to know I want that.....so don't tell anyone, okay?

Frank Baron said...

My lips are sealed Sandra. :)

(That's four....)

Thumbelina said...

Fumbling in the archives to see if your writing was rubbish and got better.
Nope. Always was good.
You told it as is.

That's five.

Frank Baron said...

Woohoo! Five honest writers!! :)

Grayquill said...

When I started my blog - I did not know how important the positive affirmation was going to be. It is interesting how I took a little risk, then proceeded with larger risks. Blogging friends are more gracious than I ever expected.
Your last line "I see you", really is a large part of it - Dang!