Just write a story. Just write a poem. Just write a chapter, or a paragraph, or even a sentence. Just – write – something, anything.
Doesn’t have to be great. Probably won’t be terrible, either. Most likely it’s going to be pretty well down the middle – not that good, not that bad. 80% of the world is, by definition, right in the middle 80% of your work, so when you write something great one day, the next you ought to expect to be below that, much more likely to be around the mean than another of those outside-the-edge pieces.
Just write. Make it real, make it true, make it honest to you, and then you’ve won. If nobody lies it, what does that matter? You did. You do. You wrote. You enjoyed it.
But here’s another similar idea- you’re not that special. If you like something, it’s pretty likely that others will, too. They’ll resonate with your stuff, because they’ve been that same poor kid growing up without a parent because they were always working. They’ll see similarities between how you listed portrayed showed demonstrated the existential angst of today’s midlife crisis generation and they’ll want to see more of the same.
Or they will stand in reference of the way you depicted (in their minds, only using your words) the vast landscape, stretching across their vision, using such basic, yet powerful, words as intrepid and seeking and voluminous. You may not make the “best” of every you and your mind and the way you see the world, thing, but I guarantee, I promise, when you are honest in yourself, when your writing reflects you and your mind and the way you see the world, Others will see it that way, too. They will feel the pull inside their chest, a reverberation that pulls them out of their chair or their subway seat or off their porcelain throne, where ever it is that you have reached them, and they will stand up proud, proud to have read you, proud to have been seen by you, proud to be shown to the world in such a pure and vibrant and poignant way, and they will advocate for you, they will tell neighbors and friends and enemies about you, they will say, “Oh, my god, you’ve got to read this, it’s totally what I was thinking the other day,” and at that point you have transitioned. You have evolved. You have gone from writer to influencer and they, that audience, they too have matured, they have evolved, they have arrived, the have advanced from passive in-takers to active out-givers. They give you to their audience, they give you to the world around them, and, in that way, the seeds spread, and the cycle begins anew.
Welcome the cycle. Appreciate it. Revel in it. And love it. For it is as organic as moss, as influential as the steady drip of rainwater, as inescapable as the sunlight. It will find you, it will swallow you up, it will overtake and overwhelm you. But only if you choose not to seek after it. Only if you allow it to happen, in its own time, at its own pace, not by Striving and Searching for accolades because you have tried to write “what they want”, but, paradoxically, because you have not.