Vocal is a diary for me
It is a cathartic experience
I am not an award winning author. I am also not a professional author.
But I enjoy writing and find that it is a meaningful hobby. I have also found that publishing stories on Vocal serves as a cathartic experience. I do not have a lot of viewers read my stories and that is okay! But that also means that I am not writing for an audience per se. Hence, the theme of this article.
I feel as if I am writing in a diary on here sometimes, but not about my personal life. I am writing stories that I have enjoyed creating. There is also a sense of accomplishment that comes with authoring a story and seeing it successfully published. The sense of accomplishment doesn't come from knowing others may view the story. Another published story is another chapter of personal growth; another filled page in the diary.
I think authors sometimes forget that writing brings a personal gratification that is entirely seperate from the viewers' experience.
Sometimes I get done publishing a story that I am super proud of and worked hard to fight apathy and stress trying to get done, and come to the existential crisis that comes with knowing others may never read it. But that feeling usually subsides quickly because I am happy and joyful that the story has been made. It makes me feel successful and productive. I am also an introvert so I feel a little exposed when others read my work.
I used to write often in high school. It was a way to escape mundane high school life. High school doesn't offer students an opportunity to write creatively (at least that was true back then), so I only filled the void through recreational writing. I remember submitting a few of my short stories to various contests. It was so much fun hitting the "submit" button!
I didn't have a particular subject area or genre that I wanted to focus on as a naive high schooler. I also didn't have any adults around me who knew anything about writing. Maybe that made it better, because I found my writing style entirely on my own. No one persuaded me against writing, how to write, or what to write. I was blessed, and I was never surrounded with any didactic adults.
There is beauty in authenticity.
I hope other Vocal writers treat the writing process more as a way of finding an inner voice as opposed to seeking a monetary gain or as a way to please readers. There is a tendency to fall into that line of thinking in this "influencer" world. A lot of online content on socia media is customer driven or focused on a particular brand. The customer is invested in the product itself.
All this to say, I hope to stay true to myself. Writing is a deeply personal experience.
This is even true for heavy duty famous authors. I recently finished a novel in which the author explained how deeply personal the story was for her. She traditionally writes novels that do not have personal attachments to her and most are love stories. But her most recent novel was different because she based each character on a family member and some of the stories were based on real-life traumatic experiences.
Writing was cathartic for her. That author was able to write about her childhood trauma and heal through writing a fictional novel that was not entirely fictional to her. She was able to see her childhood through a different lens and empathize with certain family members. She was able to view her childhood through a healthier lens following completion of the novel. I am guessing that healing process was better than all the money she made from the book, fan praise, or personal accolades.
Her honesty taught me that writing is all about the author sometimes and their personal journey. I think there is some maturity and wisdom that comes with realizing that though. I did not originally start writing stories on Vocal to find my inner voice and start some personal journey, but I've come to realize that was my purpose all along.
I've also learned that writing and publishing stories is not about making money (unless it is your sole source of income) or having a large amount of followers viewing the work (unless that is the goal), but rather a personal journey of self-fulfillment. The former is great and can come with patience/hard work but the latter is even better. Popularity is fleeting.
I'll leave it with this thought: I have been to quiet art galleries filled with beautiful paintings but no viewers. They are essentially vacant and gathering dust. But that doesn't change the paintings' beauty or the artists pride in their work.
The paintings' beauty remains regardless of whether anyone sees the painting at all.
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Very well written. Keep up the good work!
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