The other day, I had a very humorous conversation with a friend. They said something very similar to this:
“We’ve been talking about this, and don’t think that you’re actually a writer. There is no way that you are getting paid to do those types of things. The consensus is that you are actually a web cam model (imagine my inner-self rolling around laughing at that one) or practicing some sort of illegal trade like money laundering.”
Regardless of the ridiculousness of these observations, it did leave me wondering what being a writer actually means. I decided to use this little interaction as a chance to delve into what I actually do, and what I believe it means to be a part of this profession. Maybe my readers can help decide if I’m truly a writer.
Firstly, writing is not always glamorous. Not by a long shot. Being paid to write in general means that you are selling regurgitated ideas that have been forged from the gastric entrails of what the client thinks they actually want. That is a little harsh. I got carried away with the digestive system similes and over-stepped a bit.
A point that needs to be made is that not all writers are like JK Rowling or Stephen King. Although many of us hold secret hopes of writing the next classic novel or bestseller, those types of things take time. Unfortunately there are things in the world such as bills and rent and you have to put gas in your car at some point. This means that we can’t all hold out for our big break. Sometimes, a choice needs to be made to follow your passion on a smaller scale. In my case, that means freelance writing.
This is actually quite fun and liberating. True, my next paycheck is an unpredictable amount, and sometimes the jobs that I am awarded are not exactly exciting, but imagine doing something you truly love. Plus, that thing you love allows you to work for yourself, set your own hours, hop from topic to topic and learn a little bit about something new every day.
The long and short of it is that people need things written and I can do that for them. You name it: Press releases, web content, articles, academic papers, reviews, features, sales copy, and the list goes on. I love it.
As far as my breakthrough moment and the possibility of being published as popular novelist… well, all dreams have the potential to come true.