“What kind of writing do you want to do?”
I get this question pretty often when people find out I’m a writer.
I think they picture me, hunkered over an old wooden desk, quill in hand, thoughtfully penning some soon-to-be discovered masterpiece.
In reality, I’m laying in my bed, or sitting on my patio, smartphone in hand, typing out not-so-prolific essays and mediocre observations.
What kind of writing I do, and the kind I want to do, are similar, yet vastly different.
My first answer to this question is: “The kind that makes money.”
I am the type of person that tries to capitalize on my strengths. So, last year, I launched a freelancing business.
I had no idea where it would lead, but so far, it’s proved beneficial to me in several ways. Not just monetarily.
In the last week or so though, a curveball.
I recently had to, for valid reasons, start considering whether or not I could continue to keep the freelance dream alive. Was it worth it?
My job is extremely stressful and now, because of changing circumstances, I’m about to have even more responsibility on my plate.
Writing is what I do in my free (haha) time. To keep up my business would mean giving up a lot of the writing I would ordinarily do for pleasure for the sake of keeping Blue Inkwell alive.
I initially said, “Nope. Can’t do it all. I will hang up my entrepreneur boots and focus on the creative aspect of my gift. Only write what I want.”
But I’m not quite ready to do that.
Not that I intend to slack off from my 9-5, quite the contrary. But this freelance business is something I built, on my own, and small as it is, meager as the profits are, it’s mine. My own. My precious.
I had a tearful conversation with my artistic mentor last week, wrestling with this dilemma. She encouraged me to not let go of the art. To not let it become more about the business than the actual writing. If I need to give up one or the other, she suggested the business.
Personal fulfillment and artistic integrity are their own reward, after all.
And maybe it’s my stubborn nature, or the fact that I am becoming more of a workaholic as I age, but I still think I can do it all.
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
I probably, in fact, can’t do it all, and before my 9-5 or my family suffers any consequences, yes, I’ll put up the proverbial “closed” sign on my freelance door.
I know, all too well, what overextending myself will cause: irritability, sickness, temporary (or permanent) insanity.
So, what about the writing I really want to do?
I just want to write well. Whatever it is, I want it to generate a response with the people that read it. I want it to touch them in some way. Evoke feelings.
What I write already matters to me. I want it to matter to other people.
Maybe that’s not true art. But I think it is. I can write just to write, and there is certainly satisfaction in finishing a piece of art. But it means so much more to me personally when I know someone else enjoyed it, or that it moved them in some way.
I’ve decided to undertake a personal writing project. I have been thinking about just what I wanted that to look like for a while, but now I know.
It’s not something I’ll probably share for a long time, except through the editing process I’ll be reaching out to trusted people to help me see it with objective eyes.
But I do have a project and it is the kind of writing that I really want to do. Time will tell if that matches up with my abilities or not.
I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, thank you to everyone who reads, comments, and shares my posts. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to encourage me and tell me that you love to read A Pensieve View.
What started out as something to keep my writing skills sharpened has blossomed into a business and opportunities that I never thought possible.
It’s allowed me to connect with other writers, other artists, and has been a lifeline for me through some hard and difficult times in my life.
I appreciate you, my readers. Writing has become amd continues to be, a richer, more rewarding experience because of you.