Self-expression vs. communication

For me, writing isn’t a form of self-expression, though I suppose as a byproduct I do express myself. Instead, writing is primarily a form of communication. I no more think of myself as a writer than you think of yourself as a talker.

As self-expression, writing is doomed to double back on itself, to search a mirror for inspiration. And even though a mirror image may continue into infinity, it’s incestuous at best and isolated at worst.

As communication, though, writing is saved from itself by a constant injection of new inspiration. Instead of wrapping my identity in a fixed medium, I can spread it thinly, so thinly it dissolves into everyone else’s.

Self-expression, almost by definition, is self-centered, whereas communication is community-centered. My writing, at least the way I want it to be, is communication.