Living to Write/Writing to Live

By Amanda Connor

Let’s see. What are the hot topics this year? Cupcakes. The Jersey Shore. BP. Sarah Palin. The Wedding Industry. Iran. 1235996_pencil-pusherUniversal Healthcare. Turntabling. The 4-Hour Workweek. Polygamy. Vampires.

I could go on all day.

The fact of the matter is that some days I write to live, and other days I live to write. What’s the difference? The difference is entirely dependent on what topics I’m writing about.

On the days when I’m writing about some topic I don’t particularly give a crap about, that’s when I find myself writing to live. It’s obligatory. Sure, I’ll still give it my all, but my heart isn’t really in it.

On the days when I’m writing for my own blogs or writing about topics I love, these are the days when I find myself pumping out 10 blog posts without missing a beat. No writer’s block stands in my way and the sounds of furious typing (pink acrylic nails on a keyboard) echo through my shoebox apartment.

I need the balance. Mentally, emotionally and physically I need to find equal parts of passion and obligation in the projects I choose. Not all of the projects you take on can be fun and not all of the projects you take on will be obligatory. But if you can find and maintain that balance, then each of those two types of writing begins to feel a bit more rewarding. You’ll find that the writing you do for “work” becomes less tedious because you have fun writing to look forward to. And the “fun” writing you take on will be that much more fun because you’ll feel like you earned it, like a writing vacation.

Dividing up your time between projects that may bring in more money but don’t necessarily equate to fun/passionate writing is very necessary to maintaining a career as a freelancer, but it doesn’t need to be all drudgery. Seek out the niche writing projects that you find deeply interesting. If you are lucky enough to be able to make a career out of finding and writing for these niche topics, more power to you. I’ve been in this game for years and have yet to be able to make a full career out of writing for only the topics I want to write for.

The moral of this long-winded blog post is that not all work can be fun, and fun writing is more fun when you’ve earned it.