This is something personal.
Since I created this blog, I’ve been talking about writing a lot. I’ve been moaning that I didn’t have the time to write when I was a teacher in China.
But what kind of writing did I want to do? That was the first question I should have asked when I launched myself on a journey to find a way to fit writing into my life.
I tried making it into a career.
I knew how I wanted to be writing.
I envisioned sitting by the beach with my notepad and pen. I had received a freelance assignment to rewrite someone’s website content. I would spend my day shaping who this awesome person is and her amazing stories. Or
I would be in communications typing marketing newsletters and articles. Then I’d sit in the meeting room brainstorming the latest marketing campaigns. Or
I was dashing news breaking travel and lifestyle journalist. I’d sit by my cubicle with a desktop, a mug of coffee at my side, ready to jump out and interview people for stories at a drop of a dime.
Well, they all came true….. sort of.
I did become a freelance writer. I wrote articles on teak trees, pin-hole eye glasses and HIV manuals in Vietnam. Not exactly beach writing material.
I entered marketing and public relations in Chile and Thailand. I wrote sales pitches, e-cigarettes, scholarship website copy, bios. The most exciting thing I got to a marketing campaign was creating a Mailchimp one. Woohoo.
And the dashing news travel journalist? I became a marketing journalist in the US being fed assignments that didn’t depend on quality but on how much SEO they can cram into them. I had the best timing. The world of journalism is being eaten away by catchy headlines and SEO.
As many can relate, your imagination doesn’t always match with reality.
It all felt empty too. Sure there were a few glimmers of receiving great assignments like public speaking, movie scripts, time management but they were far in between and most of the time I was writing stuff I felt…..blah about. I spent my days holed up in the house banging on my laptop. I barely talk to people. I don’t even know how they react to the garbage I’m churning. If this is the world you get paid to write, then I want out.
I wanted to be working on my own stuff.
I know I’m not going to get paid for it yet and I’m okay. It’s better for my health and sanity. I miss that feeling when words were dancing on the tip of my fingertips. I miss that feeling of being tortured, of tearing your hair as your mind searches for the right words, for that right paragraph. I miss that feeling when you are vomiting a stream of words of consciousness and it doesn’t stop and your hands are hurting but you can’t stop because they are going on and on and on.
I miss real writing, goddammit.
What do I intend to do?
- Try writing for half an hour from Monday to Friday.
- Join a writing group for accountability and ideas.
- Dedicate one whole day a week to write.
Because it’s worth doing your dream every week.