I never thought I would have a passion.
I craved one. I longed for one. I wished for one. Every day, I found myself desperately hoping for one. But still, I never actually thought I’d find one. I saw myself as boring, uncreative, and talentless. Hell, maybe I still am all of those things, but writing never makes feel like I am, and that’s why I fell in love with it. That’s why it became my passion, because it became my escape.
I wrote every day and it took me away from every painful feeling I needed to break free from. I wrote for me, and for my heart, and for any reason that included helping me feel a tiny bit better on a day that I would have previously seen as hopeless. And then, I decided to share it with the rest of the world.
I’ll never forget the night I shared something I wrote online. I didn’t even put my name on it because I was so terrified of the response, but there was a small part of me that couldn’t help myself, and appreciated the thrill of it. I thought I was good at something, and I was sharing it with people. I wanted approval. I wanted validation. And I got it.
For the first time, people said they loved what I had to say, and I felt worthy. I started writing even more than I was before, and I was sharing everything I wrote. I still don’t know if the people who have reached out to me and have said things like, ‘Never stop writing.’ understand how much that has truly meant to me. So much so, I found immense amounts of motivation in it, and had a completely new reason to write. For other people.
I wrote, and still do, about depression, anxiety, and anything else that has made me feel hopeless and alone, and then suddenly I, myself, found hope in letting other people know they weren’t alone. I connected with people, and that’s when I knew I would write forever, because in that moment something I wrote truly mattered, not just to me, but to someone else, and that meant everything.
Then, a website with a platform much larger than my own reached out to me. They wanted to publish my work—all of it. It was more of the validation I craved that I spoke of earlier, and I absolutely lost my mind. I thought it meant my voice mattered, and maybe it did, but I shouldn’t have decided it did based on that validation alone, because that website that wanted to publish all of my work, didn’t value me at all. I just didn’t realize it at the time.
I let them publish all of my work, and although they didn’t pay me for any of it, they promised me ‘great exposure’. I was beyond excited and I began writing for them all the time. Then they started asking me to write on topics themselves. They would come up with headlines and tell me it should be done in a week. I made sure I got them all in on time, and as soon as they were published I started obsessing over views. I wanted likes, and shares, and anything else that again, made me feel validated. Looking back, this was around the time I lost my way in writing, because I was no longer writing from the heart. I was writing based on what I hoped would get the most views, likes, and shares.
Overall, I ended up with a few hundred thousands views and I felt good. So good, I would share that piece of information with my family and my friends. The first question I was always asked was, “Are you getting paid for this?” At first I always told the truth and said no. But once I started seeing the looks on people’s faces when they heard the truth, I started lying. “Sometimes,” I lied. And then finally, I always said, “Yes.”
I used to think about why I lied, and think I wasn’t really sure. But now I know I was. I was lying because I got so lost in craving validation, I forgot to value myself. I just didn’t want to admit that. And I’m not saying this website took advantage of me or anything like that. They never lied to me, or manipulated me. I’m just simply stating they did not value me, because if they had, they would have compensated me. Especially since they could have.
As I said earlier, my articles had a few hundred thousand views, and my articles also had around five ads on each piece, which means they were profiting off of my writing, but I wasn’t. I was supposed to be happy with the ‘great exposure’ they promised me, and honestly, I was. Like I said earlier, one of the main reasons I write is to write about how I feel so I can let other people know they are not alone, and I accomplished that with many of the pieces I wrote, and that’s what keeps me proud of writing for that website.
However, I still cringe when I read through some of the other articles I wrote on that site. The articles that they came up with for me, and the articles that were clearly written for views, and shares, and likes. The articles I wrote about ‘Why You’re A Terrible Person Based On Your Lunar Personality’ and articles like, ‘8 Signs Your Ex Sucks’.
It’s not that I think writers who write on those topics are less than any other writer, either. It’s just that I think everyone should write about what they truly want to write about—everyone should write about what truly comes from their heart, and when I wrote those articles, I wasn’t. And that’s why I am back here, on my blog at WordPress that started it all.
I don’t have 30 million monthly readers, and I’m definitely not getting paid, but it isn’t about any of that. It’s about the simple fact that I am now valuing myself and trusting that when I write about mental health, or past trauma, or self worth, or even just love it will reach the people who need to read it and I won’t have to let someone else profit off of me to do it.
Here is where I’ll always write from the heart, because here, is where I fell in love with writing in the first place.