Oh goodness. The story of how I became a writer is a long and bumpy one, but throughout the entire plotline of my life I've found that my motivation to create stories and characters and express them through words has been the same.
I write for myself.
I know it makes me sound selfish and silly, but it's true. I write for myself. I write to improve myself and to see myself create something. I don't write for other people to read it, not in the way that most people would assume so, anyways. I mean, I've got thousands upon thousands of words that will never be seen by anyone but myself. It's not because they're bad (although some of them are, heh). It's because it's my own personal store of stories.
There are so many plots that swirl around in my head that I have written down just so I can read them and cherish them. Some of them have never even left my head, whether it be through my fingers typing away or through my mouth. I hoarde my stories like a dragon hoardes its gold, sitting atop the mounds of words like they were coins.
But the thing is, sometimes after writing for myself I feel the push to have other people read it. I'm so proud of what I've created for myself that I want other people to come and make me feel good about it. There's only so much praise you can give yourself, after all.
At the same time, I'm also my biggest critic. When I post things out on the Internet, I constantly feel a bit of doubt about it. I typically hate half the stuff I put out but love it at the same time. When someone comes along and critiques anything, anything, I take it far to seriously. I take the blame upon myself.
I keep on writing for myself despite of all of this. I enjoy it far too much to stop. It's really a shame that I feel myself falling apart over the simplest things. It's part of the reason I keep so many of my stories to myself, in fear that they'll be picked apart and I'll end up hating myself for it. If I criticize myself, it doesn't burn the same way as if someone else criticized me. I can improve myself, building upon myself.
Some will say I need to outside push in order to grow. But sometimes I'm content being bottled up with my own stories and just reading over the plots and ideas I had a long time ago. I read over my old stories all the time and fall in love with them. I see the flaws and I try to correct them. I'm still blind to some of the problems, it's true.
But the fact of the matter is, I write for myself. No matter what anyone says, I will continue writing. Sure, I might rip down my old stories from a website, delete lots of text in spite of what someone's said, decide to never be judged in a writing competition again, but I will keep writing.
I write for myself, and no one else.