My Life Is About to Be Completely Consumed By Writing … I Don’t Know How to Feel?

What if I hate it?

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Tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will finish four more credits toward my graduate degree. Having been in school for pretty much 20 years straight, I’m ready to call it quits for awhile. I’m not finished yet, though. I have two more classes. They just both happen to be writing classes.

Writing. You know, that thing I do sometimes.

So not only will I be freelancing not quite full time (but getting closer), running this blog, working on extra writing projects and HOPEFULLY closing out some things so I can start some new ones, but I will also be training to write better. For health care purposes, technically, but still.

This has never really happened to me before. I have always been the typical young aspiring writer, balancing school with friends and extracurricular activities and somehow still managing to get a ton of writing done anyway.

BUT NOW? SOON? Writing will be my WHOLE life.

Well, not technically. I do have other projects that don’t have anything to do with writing, because I am a #humanVenndiagram and proud of it. But all the professional areas of my life, work and education, will all involve writing. And I don’t know whether to be excited or terrified about that.

The whole reason I ditched the life of a bored English major in pursuit of more knowledge is because I realized I didn’t want to “just” be a writer. There are a lot of things I want to do (I won’t go into the details, the list is very long). And yet here I am, approaching at least four solid months of all writing basically all the time. As much as I am aware that this doesn’t have to, and probably won’t, last forever, I’ve never been one to sprint open-armed toward the deep dark depths of the unknown.

What if I hate it?

That’s the same question I asked myself when I signed my first client contract as a freelance writer, though, and so far it’s not so bad. There are good days and bad days, as there will be with any job throughout your career.  The fact that I won’t be writing about fashion (don’t ask), or marketing, or the AHCS, gives me a little hope. I hope this means I will have a little more time and energy to spend making some improvements to Novelty … like making it easier to find helpful posts, since the navigation bar is currently a mess. I know. I’m going to fix it.

I’m excited. And scared. But mostly, I’m just ready to never have to take another marketing class ever again. JUST BECAUSE I’M GOOD AT IT DOESN’T MEAN I LIKE IT.

Thanks for reading! Get back to writing. Or studying. Or whatever it is you should be doing that you clearly aren’t.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com.

Writing Is a Hobby; A Hobby CAN Become a Job

We ALL consider writing a hobby. Some of us just happen to get a paycheck for our hobbies.

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Even as an adult, I have never once allowed myself to believe that it was impossible to find a job that I loved.

There will always be jobs we despise. It’s a rite of passage, almost. I worked in data entry for four months last year. It was boring. But I always found little things about that job that made me happy: free bagels every Friday, the occasional nice email response after updating a restaurant owner’s menu, my own desk. The best part about that job was that once I left, there was no more work to be done. I could go home and do whatever I wanted. And many evenings, I chose to spend my free time writing.

I have always believed that one day, writing could be my job.

I have always known there are many, many people out there who do not believe this. But I, wrongfully apparently, assumed that those who did not believe writing could be a real career were not writers. I never thought I would come across a writer who actively protested the idea that writing could ever be anything other than something people do in their free time. Until I did.

There is my stance on the matter, that if you find the right niche, you can write, make money and overall enjoy what you do for a living.

There is also a stance, I found out recently, that writing should never be for monetary gain. That it is a hobby and not a career. That as soon as you start to make money off of the things you write, it becomes all business, and loses the sparkle and shine it had when you were doing it for free. You feel pressured to write, so you do not want to do it anymore.

Six months ago I would have not been able to give a professional response to an argument like this. In some ways, it makes sense. But as someone who spent many years writing for no compensation at all, and is now slowly making the transition into making money doing something I am good at, I have to say that, from my perspective, this viewpoint makes no sense.

Not only is it unnecessarily discouraging to someone who wants to earn money writing, but it also assumes that writing as a job is miserable and pointless … which is far from the truth (opinion). Are there days I do not want to write about dating and productivity experts? Absolutely. But there are also days, for another client, I get to write about my ultimate passion – health – and I feel on top of the world.

What troubles me about the writers out there who take the latter stance is that I don’t think they have ever gotten past the hard part. I worry that they have given up, and now believe writing can never be a true profession – for them, and for those they share their belief with. Perhaps what they do not realize is that there are stages involved in transitioning from writing as a hobby to writing as a career.

At first, you struggle to find work. Any work. This is usually after you spend a whole bunch of time ‘writing for exposure.’

Then, once you find work, you go through a very anxious period of time in which you realize this whole writing as a job thing is not what you expected it would be.

Then you get into a rhythm. And it gets easier.

Eventually you have enough experience to land a job writing in a setting or about a subject you are truly passionate about. And all that struggling becomes worth it.

If you’re out there, and you love to write, I’m so glad you are here. But I want you to know that it does not matter whether you are writing just for fun or want to look into making money doing what you feel you are good at. If you enjoy writing, you have every right to continue to do it in any format you choose.

But don’t ever let yourself believe it can never be a career for you. Keep going. Even when it gets hard, just keep going. If that is what you want, and you are willing to work hard, you will be rewarded in time.

And if you’re out there, and you are a writer, and you are even thinking about telling a fellow writer they cannot pursue a dream they have, don’t you dare. I am disappointed and saddened by that kind of behavior in the writing community. You are entitled to your opinion. But in this case, it is in everyone’s best interest to keep your opinion to yourself.

I cannot tell you that you are wrong or that you cannot believe what you believe just because I disagree: that would be unfair. But it is NOT okay to tear another writer down. You are no better than anyone else just because you consider writing a hobby. We ALL consider writing a hobby. Some of us just happen to get a paycheck for our hobbies. That is our decision. Please, respect that, the way we respect your decision to write for free.

In a nutshell, do what makes you happy. Write because it is a part of you. Dare to dream and work as hard as you are able. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t be what you want to be.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Writing Will Always Be My First Love, But …

Writing will always be my first love.

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A few weeks ago, I realized I was not happy.

In general, I am a very content, genuinely easy to please person. I love trying new things and documenting new experiences. My plans for my future are big and scary and maybe unrealistic to some, and I find great joy in that.

So to realize I was no longer content with the way things were was surprising. And a little scary.

I am fine. Really. Everyone has these occasional moments when they’re just like, “Something needs to change, because how things are right now, it’s not working.” It took me awhile to figure out that was what has been going on. I figured that once I settled into a routine, I would be able to make things work. But that didn’t really happen.

Here’s what happened instead.

I was lucky enough to break my streak of not being able to find a job and emerge from that as a freelance writer. All those months (okay, a few years) I had spent previously writing for free literally paid off. At the time, I jumped onto those new opportunities because there weren’t any other options.

I also still had no idea what I really wanted to do after I finished school this year. The whole point of graduate school in a field like health communication is to figure out what you do and do not want to do. I was still in the ‘do not’ stage. I did not want to go into epidemiology or PR or marketing. I was still unsure about full-on journalism. I was confused, and kind of terrified. So I gave myself a whole bunch of extra projects to do, to keep me sane and to make sure I kept creating things even when I was stressed and overwhelmed, because that is essential for my mental health.

That turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. In a way.

In doing these extra projects, I have not only kept up this blog and wrote numerous stories and articles on my own time, but have also started exploring other media outlets as well, outlets that allow me to be a different kind of creative. There is a reason I don’t like calling myself a writer: I call myself a creator instead. Because I have written a lot of things, and I have enjoyed writing those things, but it is not enough anymore. I need to do more. Yet there are only so many hours in a day, and doing more means, as confusing as it may sound, some things are going to have to go.

Writing will always be my first love, and I do not want to stop, nor do I plan on stopping anytime soon. Knowing now what I want to do with the majority of my time, I will still always be researching and writing. That will not change. But it took taking on a bunch of freelance writing work to realize that I do not want to spend all day every day writing. I want writing to be a small part of a much bigger definition of my role.

I can’t tell you what I’m planning yet, because it’s going to take awhile to develop and execute. What I can tell you is, this blog is not going away. Things like The Novella Concept and my novel and ebooks are still going to continue. Creative writing is where I started and it will always be a priority to me.

However, I didn’t pursue a master’s for nothing. As much as I love writing about personal development and entrepreneurship and lifestyle for clients, and creative and sometimes professional writing for you, I can, and want to, do much more than that. Let me be real with you for a second: money may not be my motivator for doing what I do, but I’m doing this for free, and that is my choice. I love it. But my choice not to monetize my advice to you means I have to make some tough choices in other areas.

I will never know if I’m doing the right thing until I try it out and see what happens, but this blog will always be my foundation. It is the only thing I create every day that I do not feel self-conscious about. Those of you who come here and read these posts do so because you want to, not because of clickbait, not because ads brought you here, but because you appreciate and value the content. That makes me happy. That is what has gotten me through all these months of confusion and self-consciousness and maybe some sadness and frustration, too.

No matter what, I’m always going to stick around. I am always going to keep writing. This will always be a hobby and that is fine with me. But I truly believe it is also possible to construct a career that is rewarding in more ways than one, and that is what I have decided to do for myself. My mission statement is to help people learn to live smarter, healthier lives. I’m not letting that go to waste. If I’m going to be busy, I want to be busy doing what I want to do.

Thank you for always sticking with me. I feel much better equipped to provide the content I do for you when I also take the time to be honest about what is going on in my professional life. You were my very first audience. You will always hold a special place in my heart. Always.

Enough vague, sappy talk. Get back to writing.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.

Image courtesy of Getty Images.