Monday, January 9, 2012

What You Put Into Your Writing Matters

I think I write best after 10 pm, most nights, unless I've had no sleep, in which case I will spend most of my writing time fixing errors. Still, late night writing works best for me so I try to be certain I am well rested when I know I have some free time to write.

Writing for me is both an indulgent choice and my profession. I write for myself, short stories, a few unfinished novels long in the works and a few blogs. I also write for a living--producing blogs on varying subjects; articles, web content, etc. etc.

This means when I am awake, I am usually writing. It's a job and I am very happy for it. I put a great deal into my writing, spending time I I would otherwise spend watching cartoons or working in a fast food establishment producing content I am pleased with and that I hope others find interesting and/or useful. I completely altered my career choice when it came to being a full time write, first as a journalist, now as a freelancer, but then again, this is what I have always wanted to do, so i guess it would be fair to say I simply went back to doing what I had always wanted to do when I became brave enough to risk everything to do it.

I am sure I am not alone in my desire to risk everything in pursuit of my passion. In fact, I read an article by Al Kennedy, who makes a similar case for her own writing career. Although she does so with more flair and from her desk at The Guardian in the UK where she has made an excellent name for herself as a journalist, columnist and writer extraordinaire.

At some point during 1986, I made the decision to be a writer and to do so absolutely. Rather than having a go, or trying, or tiptoeing forward, I decided to write as well as I could. This was, in a way, an extreme decision and an open invitation to risk, because if I really threw everything I had into writing and got nowhere, then I would be definitively No Good At It. I hadn't worked out that going halfway into writing (or any art, or anything else worthwhile) wouldn't be safe, it would be a guarantee of failure. The joy and fear and work involved in writing have to be real and full to have meaning and to achieve anything. I didn't know that, I was simply feeling useless in the midst of Margaret Thatcher's recession with no proper job I could go to. So I wrote. I really wrote. And I was lucky. I got published – and therefore found a way of life and a profession and a love I could never have anticipated. The same drive that leads me into foolishness with curry, means that I committed to an art and craft and that it could commit to me.

Click here to read her entire article.

1 comment:

Caro said...

Lovely post. I love that fragment by Al Kennedy, I guess it's how most writers feel. I can't say it's my profession yet, but I do hope it will be someday.