Why do we write?
If you can be honest and achieve clarity, you are sure to arrive at one of two conclusions;
- You write for the money.
- You write for the love.
Writing for money is great
If you write for the money, that’s great, as long as you are actually earning something for your words.
Otherwise, it’s a terrible hobby or lifestyle.
If you always have the pressure – and you will – of an imaginary future in your subconscious mind, you will find working for that boss a teeth grinding, grueling experience.
He / she / it will constantly criticize, telling you;
- You must write.
- You must develop a writing habit.
- You must craft 1000 words a day, 365 times each year.
And what happens when you fall short?
Your Boss is there, waiting to put you down as low as the smallest centipede.
He is merciless and a true slave driver.
Writing for love
Love is a word that is overused.
I love my family. I love pizza. I share love along with like on Facebook every day. I love my camera, my desk.
There is no end to what we love in our everyday language.
What do I mean by love in this context?
Love = writing just for the joy of it. Just for the fun of it. The challenge of creating art simply by pressing one key after another.
I had a dream and maybe you do too.
I started writing short stories and novels that I never finished because of a dream I had of someday being paid for the work.
I started a blog with a mindset that someday my work would bring a financial benefit.
After writing for that slave driver I mentioned earlier, I finally had the insight that it is important to forget.
It is important to forget about money, forget about writing for the future, forget that boss who tells you; you must!
Writing is hard work, no doubt about that. You can make it much harder with the wrong mindset.
What does the Master Stephen King have to say about this?
“One more matter needs to be discussed, a matter that bears directly on that life-changer and one that I’ve touched on already, but indirectly.
Now I’d like to face it head-on. It’s a question that people ask in different ways – sometimes it comes out polite and sometimes it comes out rough, but it always amounts to the same:
Do you do it for the money, honey? The answer is no. Don’t now and never did.”
King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (p. 301). Hodder & Stoughton. Kindle Edition.
Applying mindfulness to washing dishes means not doing it to get it done, instead; feel the water, is it soft or hard, hot or cold. Concentrate on every dish, bowl and glass.
Mindfulness in writing means honesty and clarity. Why are you writing? Always planning on selling? Hoping for a future with money for writing?
This is where you need to be clear about your motive for writing.
If you are under that pressure, you will probably struggle; after all you are fighting reality.
If you relax and write only for the joy of creating art, everything will work out much better.
Mindfulness is a mindset, which has to do with your subconscious. It can apply to every aspect of your life.
The secret is stop, slow down and treat nothing as a means to an end.
The modern Writer
Have you ever read anything along the lines of;
How to earn money writing…
How to market your writing…
How to sell your writing…
How I earned a billion in 4 days…
how to write 30,000 words per day…
If you have, chances are you were searching for it.
And find such things you will; there are over a zillion such articles to be found.
Are you working for that boss part of your mind and dreaming of earning money?
The last thing I intend to do is discourage you. Keep at it.
But if you are falling short and tired of being pushed around by that boss than reconsider.
Take a day off from writing – except your journal – and consider the option of forgetting the dream, the money and the illusionary future.
Consider the freedom of writing for love.
Writing just for the joy of it.
Just for the fun of it.
For the challenge of creating art simply by putting symbols together to form words, sentences and paragraphs.