So I’ve kept this blog for nine years now, but it’s only in the past three that I started taking it seriously. And by serious I mean no sporadic posts, always networking on WordPress, and acting as if I know what I’m doing.
Thing is, I’ve never earned a dime from my blog, and I can’t use it to sell anything even if I wanted to.
But just because I didn’t gain monetary rewards doesn’t mean I didn’t benefit from ‘going pro’ when it comes to blogging. So what can a domain name and a paid WordPress account get you? Let me count you the ways.
I remember landing my first writing gig as a young journalist. I was so hopeful, dying to unleash my voice upon the world.
But I wrote for the newspapers, where every story bordered between direct and sterile. Didn’t the other writers care about craft? Surely, they knew something about the arts?
Oh, they did. They definitely did. But I was young enough to think I knew better than everybody else.
It wasn’t long before I became one of them. Before I realised how writing for a living and writing for yourself were two totally different things. And after scraping by for more than a decade, I can safely say this: writing can be a real bore sometimes, especially if you’re paid to do it.
It’s finally over. I’ve just finished mentoring for a year-long programme on mobile journalism, and boy has it been a trip.
For one, impostor syndrome was hitting hard, as my bulk of experience in lifestyle, marketing, and fiction felt out of place among the other mentors, who were powerhouses in journalism and news reporting.
But the good outweighed the bad, and I’ve now come out of this programme having learned more about myself as an educator, and you know what? I actually think I suck. A lot.
You’d think I’d know what I want in a writing career after spending some ten years of cutting my teeth in wordsmithery. Ha. Ha ha. Hahahaha.
What happened instead is me flitting from one possibility to another, not really committing to an actual path. Do I want to pursue fiction? Or freelance writing? Am I looking to be an editor? Or remain a writer?
If you took writing seriously, your first instinct would’ve been to click on this post to tell me I spelt my title wrong. Awesome job. That’s what a serious writer would do.
But don’t feel left out if you didn’t, because you’re here, and that means you’re awesome either way.
Besides, writing is more than being the grammar police, am I right? It’s not just about being keen with the language. You’ll also need to approach it from a crafter’s perspective rather than an artist’s.
That’s why I’ve always enjoyed Ann Patchett’s book on the craft titled The Getaway Car. You don’t see it brought up often, especially when compared to the usual suspects such as Stephen King’s On Writing or Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, but boy is it filled with tons of crafting wisdom.