I’ve attempted this post several times, but have found myself pulled away by one deadline or another. Please accept this as a positive sign, because it means that I’m a writer who is busy… and a busy writer is a working writer…and a working writer… isn’t banging her head against the wall wondering why she writes at all. Although, I’d have to say, I don’t question writing as much as I question making it my job sometimes.
I’ve become increasingly protective – no, more like specific – about the kind of writing I will sell. I can’t say this option is available to everyone though. Sometimes being specific or “choosey”, as they say, is considered a luxury.
Sometimes you have to sell your work in order to pay your bills, which means having to work on projects that make you want to stay in bed when the alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. I know those projects. I’ve lived them. But it’s part of life as a working writer…
or that’s what I used to think.
Some time last year, my focus shifted and I started getting very specific about what I will or won’t (or can’t) do as a writer. If there’s one thing I know for sure right now, it’s that writing about things I like and connect with is a must, paid or not. I’ve also learned that being a writer simply means being a storyteller – how I tell those stories can change, as long as there is passion at the foundation of the project.
I hope this post doesn’t sound unrealistic. Trust me, I’ve made my compromises and have worked on projects that made me miserable. But that’s exactly why I wanted to share this small lesson, which has served me well in recent weeks: when you turn your passion into your work, be protective of that relationship – don’t set yourself up to hate what you do by doing what you hate. Whether that’s writing, painting, woodworking, yoga, dancing or building cars, try never to convince yourself that you can’t afford the so-called “luxury” of being specific.