Writing for the sake of writing can be both absorbing and satisfying, . This type of writing can also be useful for experimenting with forms and styles, building your confidence and generating ideas.
Writing for yourself is often the next step, when you aren’t confident enough to share with others your thoughts and feelings, but want to try your hand at a project: a poem, a short story, a book. The focus of writing for yourself is the form of the work; you already know the content.
What often prompts someone to take the next step to writing for others is an idea. Writing is a form of communication, by which ideas are transmitted from one consciousness to others.
Because others typically don’t see what you’ve written until you’ve finished, you can take time and care to make sure you say what you mean. You can complete the entirety of what you intend without interruption. But you also need to make sure your idea is clear, that it doesn’t get lost, or buried under verbiage.
It might help therefore, to understand the character of your idea. What about your idea makes worthwhile your sharing it with others? Here are a few examples:
- You have something to say.
- There is something you know.
- You’ve thought of something original.
- You want to create something you would want to read.
Knowing your idea will help you when you’ve finished your first draft, and want to make sure you achieved what you set out to accomplish. For example, if your idea was something you particularly wanted to say, then that theme needs to emerge from the work more than any other. You can safely change or remove anything that doesn’t amplify that theme. If, however, you’ve wandered away from your intent, then you at least will know where you intended to go in the first place.
 Orwell, George, quoted in Williams, Raymond, Orwell, Reading: Fontana Paperbacks, 1984; p 29.