I say that I write for myself. This is only partially true. I’ve been writing since I was in first grade. I like writing. The feel of the pen gliding smoothly over the paper is therapeutic, relaxing, and blissfully silent. I can create an entire world without making a single sound.
But I don’t do this for myself. If I did, I wouldn’t censor my writing the way I do. I’m far too worried about what other people will think. What will my family think? What will my husband think? What will my son think someday? How will they judge me?
The real downside to being a people pleaser is that everyone loses. Not only do I remain unhappy, because even constructive criticism registers as failure in my mind, but the people around me don’t get to know the real me and they aren’t challenged by me. I’m horrible at offering constructive criticism because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. To me, everything is judgment.
I have great respect for people who can be who they are and don’t offer any apologies for that. You either take them as they are, or you don’t. But the really strong people are the ones who don’t throw their differences in your face. They’re true to themselves, but they’re not out to offend either. They’re okay with agreeing to disagree. I wish more people were like that. I strive to be like that.
The fear of failure. . .rather, the fear of abandonment is what causes me to be a people pleaser. I know this. I’ve had too many people walk out of my life due to some insignificant detail. And I let them. Who I am to say what’s significant and what isn’t?
But I’m straying from my initial point. I do not write for myself. That is a lie that I tell myself to make it okay when my books don’t become #1 best sellers. I create worlds to share them with others. Why else would I write it down? Why wouldn’t I just spend all day and night in my own daydreams?
I want others to fall in love with the worlds inside my head. This just goes to show, I think, that no matter how anti social I think I am or claim to be, I seek approval and friendship. I seek companionship. I want to share the things that make me happy with others.