“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” — Barbara Kingsolver

This is something I have to tell other writers all the time. Not in these exact words, of course, but the gist of it: Write what you want to say.

People undervalue their own ideas and thoughts. Sure, they’re not necessarily significant just because they popped into your head, but that doesn’t mean everything you think is irrelevant. Everyone has different thoughts, so what’s wrong with expressing yours?

We as humans tend to think other people think the way we do, so our thoughts are unimportant because someone else has already had them. But you are you. You may bring to light a perspective or idea someone hasn’t actually considered yet. If nothing else, you will phrase it in the way only you can. And that may bring understanding to someone who didn’t get it before.

Your opinion of what you write is irrelevant. It’s not up to you to decide if you’re good or not. That’s for other people. And then you can decide whose opinions are worth your time.

But you can’t spend all your time worrying about what other people think, you’re worrying, not writing. You could be spending that time creating instead.

If you only write what you think other people want to hear, you are being disingenuous to your readers and depriving them of what you actually have to say.

Don’t be afraid to what what you feel. There will be people who dislike it. But there will be just as many, if not more, that do like it. And those are the ones you’re writing for.

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