When people ask me what I do, I hesitate to answer. I write stuff, I respond; when the proper answer would’ve been, I’m a writer.
How I went from writing stuff to finally admitting (with pride) that I’m actually a writer had to involve the following truths:
Losing the artistic attachment:
Writers have feelings – even more than what an average person has. I get that, that what we write are pieces to our selves — it’s our craft.
But at some point you would have to accept that what you put out is not always what you want it to be.
The detachment to artistic integrity is not absolute; save some for your self. But you should also be able to write anything should the need arise. All the best writers do.
It’s a long and painful journey to separate the idea that what you do is not always about you. Not everything you work on is a masterpiece. But that shouldn’t mean you love your work or exert effort any less.
Love it while it’s in your hands then let it go.
It does not have anything to do with a by line.
or a job position, or an award or your work on paper.
If you have those, then that’s great.
How your work is presented to the world does not determine your credibility or pride as a writer. Just because the print has been around longer shouldn’t mean digital folks get lesser claims to the writer fame.
The validation feels good, there’s no denying to that. But claim it with the hopes to empower yourself to write more and to inspire others.
It’s okay to write about the most superficial things.
Or even care about them. or even about the things you don’t care about.
That doesn’t make you any dumber or lesser of the person you are. There should be no shame in it.
I love writing for brands and to chameleon behind different voices.
Some for click bait and mostly for money these enterprises make from the words I write; some for making famous people even more famous. It’s fun and mind opening. I get to live different lives, influence decision, and talk about things beyond me that other people are actually passionate about.
When you do get to care about something so deeply (or not even care at all) but are able to put it into words, that’s a writer right there.
There’s no such thing as dull writing jobs.
I worry about my self, that perhaps I get lesser credit for my craft, that I should be writing more soul and voice. Not labels on the back of shampoos or the tips on how to be the next *name of celebrity.*
But I don’t mind that at all. It allows me to practice, to find new ways to say something being said a hundred times already. And it takes a certain skill to find creativity in constriction.
You are not a failure for writing the most mundane things, you fail only when you do stop writing.
Write without so much of a goal or the concept of failure. Write what is needed at the moment and build from there. Simply write because you want to. Whether you take writing as a career or a side gig, write because no one can do it the way you can and because no one can see things the way you do and be able to write it down.
Write for an audience, whether you have 5 followers or 5k fans – it does not matter.
What matters is you keep. getting. better.
Write in such ways that if you were to publish your laundry list, they’d read that too. Now that’s a goal.
I Stopped Defending.
As quoted from one of my favorite writers, Chelsea Fagan: Writers get asked a lot of questions on why they do their jobs. Nobody asks a janitor, why do you clean toilets?
And that being said means what we have is something that’s meaningful and valuable. Something that’s not going to be automated — ever. Take pride in that.
#PublishingMillions is not a myth, but it’s not that real too.
You shouldn’t write for the money, although it doesn’t hurt to hope.
I am thankful (and lucky) that my words have brought numbers to my bank account even in the tiniest digits. Although to be honest, it worries me too.
Yes, the work can be rewarding. But it can be such a struggle to. And sometimes you have to separate the work that brings numbers to your bank account and the work that makes your heart happy, or your self brand happy. And that can be difficult, and luck can be such a factor.
But what I would worry more about is about me doing open heart surgery and make money from that because that is something I’m not good or confident at.
I do not regret pursuing the writing career path contrary to what I wrote previously.
I only regret not writing more often.
Believe You Are a Writer.
Call your self a writer. Believe that you are despite what your day job is, or what your education was.
When in doubt, write — cause that is just the most writer thing there is.