Why do I write? Better question, why do I publish? I’ll answer the former first. I must write. It’s not that I want carpal tunnel. I need the stories that occupy my brain fleshed out on paper. I want them to have a life outside of me. I want them to be experienced by others and to hear their feedback. I want them to speak to others as they have to me. Is that selfish? Is that vanity? I want what I write to find its audience and give them an experience they might not find in another book. It feels purposeful.
I need the stories that occupy my brain fleshed out on paper.Michael Poeltl
I’ve written 14 books. They vary in genre. I’ve published each of them. Why? To answer the second question (now asked twice), it’s because I want that win. Even if it’s just for me, I want to be published. I want the words out of my head, edited, and into my hands, securely housed in the pages of a book with a cover illustrating the essence of my words. That in and of itself is a win.
Why do I market my published books? I market them because I want to be taken seriously. I want my work to find more people; the more I market, the more reach I have—the more eyes on my work, the more feedback. The more feedback I receive, the more I understand myself and my audience.
I’ve only ever written journals on vacation when I was younger. To better remember the week or month I was away. I don’t keep a daily journal or even a week-to-week as many do. And they do it for a good reason. They do it to look back and see growth in their lives. They do it to remind themselves of a lesson they’d learned in the hopes of not having to learn it again. They see their mistakes, and they own them. They change to become the person they want to be. A journal is like having a psychoanalyst in your head. Psychoanalysts tap into your unconscious mind to recover repressed emotions and deep-seated, sometimes forgotten experiences. By better understanding your subconscious mind, you acquire insight into the internal motivators that drive your thoughts and behaviors. So, a journal is like writing your subconscious down for further review.
My books are my Psychoanalyst.Michael Poeltl
Why have I not kept a journal as a writer? Because my books are my Psychoanalyst. They come at the right time in my life. The characters are me – my subconscious mind. They work through problems and suffer difficulties and overcome obstacles. They make sense of my inner voices and evoke the emotions I may not be comfortable expressing. The characters say things I would never say out loud. They teach me how to live better. They show me the faults in my personality and the good in me.
When I am gone, I won’t have left a journal for others to read in the hopes of understanding my inner thoughts. I’ll have left my books. Books that become my unintentional biography. Books that I hope helped my audiences better understand themselves and the world around them. Books that gave them pause to consider a new idea. Books that helped them through trauma or offered a departure from their everyday lives.
I’m sure this is true for most writers. We work out our demons through writing, whether in journals, blogs, poems, short stories, or novels. They all have their merits. They all carry a story and a lesson we can learn from.