Remember when you read stories as a child (I hope you read some)? Do you remember any that captured you, pulled you into their world and left you haunted (not necessarily in a dark way) by the world they’d created?
I evaluate manuscripts for authors, and one thing I’ve noticed that seriously compromises manuscripts of both fiction and nonfiction is the focus on what the author wants to say instead of the journey the reader may want to go on.
Writers (poets, too, actually), it’s not about all the cool things you discovered erupted onto the page. It’s about taking the reader on that journey. You are the leader in hiking boots, taking the reader up that mountain of self-discovery, or on that fictional adventure through your protagonist’s eyes.
The writing is about your self-expression, but if you get stuck on that purpose, you will never be successful in reaching readers and building your audience. Writing is a relationship between you and your reader (unless you are just journaling, which is cool, but not the same as writing for readers).
Yes, sharing of your experience can create a positive relationship with readers who have experienced something similar, but simply sharing without looking to see that you are actually taking the reader where you (or your protagonist) want(s) to go or have ended up is missing the point of writing something that is intended to be published.
Please, show us a narrative path, to personal transformation, understanding of a historical event, the ups and downs of a fairy tale adventure. Doesn’t matter the type of story or the subject matter, just remember us, the readers, when you write. Take us with you. We will love your stories, and we will come back for more.