By Charles Towne

Why do you want to write?  What do you hope to get out of it? And why does it matter to you?

Another thing you have to think about is just as tough, just as dangerous, and just as private… and it’s this:

You have to know what you want to put into your writing, and what you want to leave out of your writing.

And this is where the real writer comes to the fore.

This is a very personal matter, because the more of yourself you put into your writing, the more people are going to know YOUyes, they are going to see all of your foibles, your warts, your pimples, your real YOU, and you might not want them to know you as well as they will.

You know you, don’t you?   I mean you really KNOW you.  You know the bad things you’ve had to get through to get where you are.  You know where you’ve screwed up, where you’ve gone wrong.  You know your nasty little secrets, your darkest thoughts.  Yeah, you know the real you, and if you write what you know, some of you is going to sneak out onto the page, into what you write.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all bad.  A lot of it is good.  You know your fantasies, your aspirations, your realities,your victories.  You know what matters to you, what you care about, what you love.  All will sneak into your writing, it can’t NOT sneak in because these are you, and the best writers write what they know best, which is themselves  

If you’re writing true to yourself and close to the bone, down on the nasty gut level—if you’re writing honestly—all of these things are going to creep into your writing.  

Now the real scary part is this, the secrets you drop about yourself as you write won’t be obvious to you.  You won’t see them, most times, until some reader points them out to you.


Because as you write, your right brain starts kicking inbrilliant ideas about characters, but most of these are ideas made brilliant because they are a part of you.  They just don’t SEEM like a part of you as you write them, but please believe me when I tell you that they are YOU.

The issue about writing the “you” really becomes evident as you write fiction, and there are two ways to keep from revealing yourself while writing in the fiction genre.  The first is to only write things you don’t care about, and if you do that?  Well, you don’t want to do that.

The second is to not write fiction at all.

Good fiction is personal.  If you’re writing—and if what you’rewriting matters to you—you are going to be in your fiction, and the people who read what you’ve written will read your mind.
They will see YOU.

This is the job.  It’s the price you pay for creating.

Continue only when you’re sure this is a price you’re willing to pay.

Now, as I have said before, sit your behind in that chair and write; you’ll be glad you did.

personally, I think writing is worth it but then you have to decide for yourself don’t you.

But if you dare, you can do this, and believe me, in the end you will be glad you did.

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. Yes!!! So true dear Charles. Also, very therapeutic to write about YOU. It helps externalize all of those crazy, jumbled thoughts we have rambling around in our head. Writing is truly beneficial, even when not shared with others….decreases anxiety, improves positive self talk etc etc….I could go on for days! As always, thanks for sharing and have a blessed day!

  2. I spent this weekend, reading all the letters I wrote to my mom over the years. Each letter tells a story about what was going on in my life. Also, my wishes for my mom, letting her know she was loved and encouraging her to take better care of herself. For as long as I can remember, our Mom struggled with depression and her place in our lives. Writing is therapeutic; those moments I’m writing; I’m calm; I organize my thoughts and feel free to express. Writing is good for the spirit.

  3. Dear NH, You are so right about the therapeutic value of writing. Take journaling for instance. Not everyone is cut out to be a writer, but everyone can journal. It has been said that if one were to faithfully journal on a particular subject on a daily basis for a period of two or three years one would become an expert on that subject. That is a powerful idea. Imagine if we were to journal on the love of the Father for a period, it would have a profound impact on our lives. Blessings dear friend, Chaz

  4. Dear DV, WOW! YOUR EXAMPLE IS PROFOUND! That those letters are still speaking, still loving, still encouraging, touches my heart. The written word is so powerful. It can create and it can destroy, it can love, or it can hate. It can build up or it can tear down… Imagine if you will that all you had was hurt, pain, and anger, real or imagined, you would be left empty and desolate but you have chosen the better thing and I am so proud of you. May Papa God bless you and yours, Chaz

  5. Yes, so true! I am not a writer, but I journal and have been known to “get creative” at times. I think whether a person means to or not, a little bit of THEMSELVES slips out and onto the page. So many people cannot express themselves, so everything is just bottled up inside. Writing just lets it flow. The best part is that you can go back months or years later and see where you’ve come from.
    Keep up the good work, Chuck.
    Blessings to you!

  6. Dear CSG, Don’t you think the more we constructively communicate the better we become at communicating? What you just did is an excellent example. “Keep up the good work!” Your five little words encourage me, and I thank you. As DV expressed in her comment above she portrays a profound love for her mother. When you write about your recent loss your love comes through as genuine as well. You dear ones are definitely writers. Keep it up, and many blessings on you. Chaz

  7. Hi Charlie, It sure was a different “you” in this one. Now I know you better. I liked the change subject and, of course, I always love your writing.

  8. I never thought about all this before. Very good to know. It really makes a lot of sense! Now don’t go writing about being a serial killer, alrighty? Might have to avoid you. Ha ha! All in good fun.

  9. Ahh Kristin, I never killed a cereal in my life, I actually like cereal. Some cereal is not very nutritious, but… kill a cereal? Not me! Please don’t avoid me, I promise I will be good. Blessings on you my dear friend, Chaz

  10. A lesson never taught in English class… You have provided me with one more data point in my left-brain column. Writing requires a great deal of creativity which you obviously have and I do not. Another great article – keep them coming.

  11. Mike, there are varied kinds of creativity. I know you well enough to recognize your gifts of creativity. The home you live in shows one type, and the way you treat your wife is another. Oh yes, and what you create in the kitchen is yet another! Keep on keeping on my friend, Chaz

  12. Chuck you have really defined yourself, as you are an accomplished “wordsmith”. I always enjoy reading what you have written, and look forward to your next article! You have led an interesting life, and have much to share with us common folk. So, please don’t ever stop sharing your thoughts and comments. God bless you and yours!

  13. Don, we all need encouragement and you are the ultimate encourager. Your words are like like the pleasant smell of gardenias in the cool of a summer evening and greatly appreciated. You are a great blessing my friend. Blessings on you and yours, Chaz

  14. Sometimes thought provoking,
    Sometimes smile inducing,
    Sometimes heartstrings are pulled,
    Sometimes comfort levels are shaken,
    Sometimes things are learned,
    But ALWAYS worth reading because the love shines through and that is what we all need!

  15. Richard, your astuteness astounds, astonishes, and stimulates without aspersion, “and that is all I have to say about that.” Blessings on you pal, Chaz


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