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The Writer's Inbox

by: Samarth Bansal | 4 April, 2024

The best writing happens when you write for yourself, but the moment writing becomes your professional identity, when you behave like a writer in the world's grand narrative, you feel more responsible. You get a platform an equally deserving someone may not get. Your once weightless words start carrying weight.

When you write for others, you're no longer journaling—no longer arranging words solely for self-understanding or clarity. You have to craft an experience. The time a reader spends with your words should transcend the ordinary. Why else would they read you?

The more you do it, the tension intensifies: writing for yourself or writing for readers? It can feel like a burden. You can't lose yourself; you can't take readers for granted. Magic happens when you hit the right quadrant. Excellence happens when you hit it consistently.

The more you do it, praise starts pouring in. Your work is shared and discussed. It's visible to those around you—friends, colleagues, and strangers. You earn status points. It reinforces what you do.

The more you do it, the validation loses luster. Reactions become predictable—the expected outcome of inking the page. Sometimes more, sometimes less. You grow so used to it, it loses significance.

What does not lose significance is behind-the-scenes interactions—in the writer's inbox. Where readers go beyond praise. They share their lives. They reveal insecurities. They confide in you—things they may not even share with their loved ones.

Most seek no transaction. Some don't reveal their full names. Some don't know why they are writing back—they feel they have to, they trust the writer won't judge. They believe that you, the writer—a stranger—will get it.

It unfolds in a secret world, a private conversation, free from the corrupting incentives of public performance. It's an expression of the need to feel understood.

Readers say thanks—for writing, for listening. But most don't realise their words have killed the hierarchy. Labels fade at this level of intimacy. There are no more readers or writers, just two human beings, telling each other: "I hear you!"

This shared feeling of humanity with strangers is the greatest reward of writing. Knowing that your broken self might mean something to someone—that means everything.