Writing, to make money, is exhausting.
The more people that try it, the harder it is to break into a niche and make a fair, honest profit.
Not all writers do it because they like it. Some see it as an “easy” way to make money.
They memorize and follow all the steps. SEO, good headlines, consistent updates. This social media platform, that email list, oops, Facebook changed their algorithm again and now we’re all screwed.
Sometimes, you wonder if it’s really all worth it.
Sometimes, you just want to go back to simpler times. When you could make whatever you wanted, write whatever you wanted, because you felt like it and it didn’t really matter whether it went viral or not.
If that’s how you’re feeling right now, this is for you.
This is for the writers who aren’t interested in SEO best practices, Twitter verification, or how to make six figures in their first year of working in the field. (Is that even feasible, anywhere?)
This is for the writers who just want to make things, because it’s fun and they want to.
Some ‘rules’ don’t apply
If you’re genuinely passionate about a project, then you can afford to let that passion drive you forward. You’re allowed to network without asking someone else for something. You’re permitted to create what you want, when you want.
Forget about algorithms and formulas. People follow people who are passionate. It’s not the only thing you need to succeed, but it’s the thing that will keep you going — and the thing that will convince others to stick around.
Treat your fans like royalty
Okay, so, this SHOULD apply to everyone who’s publishing things, but that’s just not always the case. If you’re just out there in the world creating things, and people willingly follow and talk about you, honestly, treat them better than you’ve ever treated anyone. Because you’ve never asked them for anything, and yet here they are. Reading your stuff. Sharing it. Being awesome.
People are excited by people who are excited. They want to be involved in something that makes them feel like they belong. Give them that. Give them something to celebrate.
Relax, have fun, and let your creativity carry you
As writers in the “real world,” we’re under a lot of pressure to meet deadlines, write as much as possible in a short amount of time, and give our audiences the best we can offer every moment of every day. No one can carry that kind of weight forever without something less stressful to get them through it.
Find that project you’re going to enjoy — through the good parts and the bad ones. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t even have to be good. It just has to be yours, to do with what you want, to take in whichever direction you choose. Why? Because sometimes, creativity needs a healthy dose of freedom.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.