The sound of writing versus silence


In my continuing offline hiatus, here is another re-run from 2008.


I suspect many of us who write are convinced that publication validates our efforts. Mystery/Suspense author Sandra Parshall said, “A writer needs readers to make the last link in the creative circle. A story that is never read by anyone other than its author is incomplete. It’s a bird singing in an empty forest.”

But wouldn’t that bird sing whether or not anyone was there to listen?

Some insist that a writer is one who writes, while an author is one whose writing is published. That makes me wonder if the credibility of a writer is diminished because his words have not become public.

While it’s not my goal, I admire those who sing just for the joy of the song.


What’s your opinion? Is the writing of an unpublished writer less valuable than that of published ones? Do you think there’s a point to writing if we don’t intend for anyone else to read our words?



Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

6 thoughts on “The sound of writing versus silence

  1. Hello there!

    To make creativity (like writing) complete, yes, I believe, there should have at least another person on the other side to accept (by reading) our creation.


  2. While I don’t think an unpublished writer’s work is any less valuable, I do think what a shame that their work is not being read by others. Well, maybe not in ALL cases. But you know what I mean. Some people definitely should only write for their own enjoyment. I don’t mean that in a mean way. Having the desire to write doesn’t ensure that what we write will be something that others will even want to read. Expressing our creative side is an important thing, regardless of how others might judge what we’ve created. Good questions, Carol!

  3. It depends on your goal. If you enjoy writing, write. If you really want to find an audience, you have to make your work public — on a blog, in a publication or book — and know it’s then open to (mis) interpretation and criticism. My new book has garnered some astonishingly positive reviews — and some truly vicious ones, which have been unpleasant to encounter, not because they’re critical but because they’ve chosen to attack the author, not the material.

    Some people simply don’t want (or can’t handle) feedback from strangers on their work. Best, then, not to share it. I do admit to impatience with writers who insist they are Writers! when they never publish…Maybe it’s the difference between a cook (domestic consumption only) and a chef (made for the public.)

    Too bad “writer” makes no such distinction.

  4. I think there’s value in writing, even if nobody else ever reads it. But yes, there is something special about having the work read.
    We actually write for different audiences: things we write just for ourselves (shopping lists, diary entries); things we write for one other person (letters, email); things we write for the world (blog posts).
    A poem or story can fall into any of those categories.

  5. I think we all write for someone to read, if it’s only a greeting card. Yet, I also think a writer will write whether or not the words are ever made public. What is inside comes out or burns a hole in the writer’s heart. May we write and write and let the words flow like snow. Blessings to you, Carol…

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