Photo: Filip Mishevski
The only qualification I had when I first started writing for a living was an accounting diploma. That, and some six years of hairdressing experience.
So I was surprised to get a call from a local NGO about my mentorship application I had sent in just the day before. Apparently, someone like me—who’d blundered from one writing niche to another—did have something to offer the next generation.
Photo: Alexandru Zdrobau
Would you continue writing even if no one reads your work? On the other hand, would you voluntarily write something meant for your eyes only?
Would the act of expression itself please you? Or would you write only to the promise of monies and adulation?
Oh, don’t look at me that way. I assure you that this question isn’t as silly as it seems. There have been famous authors who didn’t set out to be published, after all.
Photo: Sticker Mule
So you have writer’s block, or you could be behind on your blog-posting schedule. Your creative well might’ve run dry, or you’re just not looking forward to writing yet another article about the property market.
Well fret not then, because you’ve come to the right place. I’ve spent most of my life writing articles I didn’t care much about, with tight deadlines to boot.
Doing that taught me a very valuable lesson, and that is you don’t need inspiration to actually do the work. Also, writer’s block doesn’t really exist.
Who’d have thought travel writing would exist? You get to experience something you otherwise wouldn’t, and they pay for it? What is this, a writer’s wet dream?
When I flew to Boracay for my first travel assignment, I couldn’t believe I was doing it. Here I was, a writer that had stumbled across various dead-end jobs before finding this gig, and I was well on my way to collecting passport stamps and magazine bylines.
That honeymoon period lasted barely two months though, because while travel writing was fun, it also offered what any other job did—the potential for it to suck.
Photo: Ben White
“Maybe your writing sits better with westerners than with Asians,” Nick said, comparing my blog posts (read: more than five readers) to the Facebook shares (my sister being the sole reader) I occasionally put out.
I nodded with reluctance. It wasn’t as if Malaysia lacked a thriving reading community, but there was also no denying it: I get more traffic and engagement from the USA than anywhere else, all things considered.
As much as I’d like to believe that hard work and talent trumps all, it’s becoming real apparent to me that getting your work seen by the appropriate audience seems to be a more effective way of approaching things than just blindly churning out content week after week.