I didn't think about publication or readers. I had never been rejected; although, I did get the occasional Meh response from a teacher on a writing assignment.
But the Meh responses didn't bug me.
I wrote when I had a funny idea or sad one, when I had something important I wanted to remember, when I'd read a good book and wished I could keep the story and the characters going.
I didn't worry about what type of writing I did. I wrote short stories and novels. I wrote a play. A comic strip. Essays and poems. I even wrote songs. And taped myself singing them.
I kept a journal. I typed on a typewriter. I hand-wrote in notebooks or on loose-leaf paper. I illustrated my stories. I drew my own book covers. I didn't care that I wasn't good at drawing.
Most of the stories I never finished. A few of the stories, I revised. Over and over. But it never felt like work.
If I didn't feel like writing one day, or for a week, or for a month, I just... didn't. And when I pulled out my typewriter to write another story, I didn't wonder if I'd lost my ability.
When I was twelve, I wrote for myself.
And it was my favorite thing to do in the world.