Doris Egan has a lovely essay about writing from the heart that explains that it does not mean writing drippy and sentimental (unless, you know, that’s your heart’s desire), but allowing yourself to write what you want to write without second guessing yourself.
I have heard people object to the idea that you should write what you love on the grounds that some people have no talent and no taste and what they love is too hideous for words.
Leaving aside how subjective the idea of talent and taste are, why can’t people without either write if they want to? Who are they harming? (Other than the eyes and brains of those who read the slush pile, but they knew the dangers when they took on the job.)
Lots of people write who have no intention of ever being published or becoming a pro writer. Why shouldn’t they? I like to dance, but I’m not ever going to make a living at it.
Sure there are lots of people who try to become pro writers and don’t succeed. There are lots of actors, singers, musicians and dancers who are unable to support themselves doing it. So they find other ways to make a living, but keep on doing what it is that they love.
I know I talk here a lot about writing as a profession. That’s because I’m a pro writer and the realities of that concern me greatly. But if I stop being able to make a living at it, I will not stop writing. This isn’t just how I earn my money, it’s a huge part of who I am. Most of my writing life has been spent unpublished and without an audience. It never stopped me.
I love writing. If you love it, no matter how talentless others might consider you, then write.