On Writing… For Fun, When You Write for a Living

Writing is now my full-time job. I’ve been an Editorial Assistant for about three months now, and I love it. Unlike many editorial assistants, I actually get to write every day. I write daily blog posts on finance and investing, along with other projects that keep me busy throughout the week.

I love the fact that I get to work with words every day. I love that I can work with headphones in, and instead of getting yelled at most days (like my last job in a call center), I can work in musical silence instead.

But I’ve found that writing for my daily job takes a toll on my creative/personal writing. When I worked at the call center, writing my novel was my way of escape from what I did daily… answering calls from people who were usually cranky and yelling into their phone because they couldn’t hear me/were angry with me. Writing was my escape from a job I hated.

Now I have a job I love, in a field I love, but some nights when I get home from reading and writing all day, I have a hard time sitting down to stare at another screen again. More writing means more thoughts, more time, carefully choosing words and phrases and scenes. My last job didn’t really require much careful thinking… I could usually fix the customer’s complaint before they’d finished explaining it.

To put it simply and dispassionately, writing is difficult. The blank, empty page daunting.  What is my character doing today? Is it raining? Is she cold? Sometimes just getting my characters to crawl out from under their blankets is a hardship (especially if I’m tired, and would like to crawl under some blankets myself…).

Leonid Pasternak gets the creative struggle...
Leonid Pasternak gets the creative struggle…

As one famous writer said, “Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed.” (This is a quote that no one knows the precise origin/wording of… But I love it)


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