The Terrible Habit That Will Ruin My Writing Career
Lately I've developed a very bad habit.
It's not that I've been drinking too much, or even that I've been leaving all my work to do at the last minute. Though what I am doing is possibly just as destructive to my career - even to my family!
My two jobs take a lot out of me mentally. One as a marketing director with a content-heavy strategy; the other as a freelance writer.
At the end of the day - especially at the end of the week - I feel that I've done enough with words. Why do more?
So recently I've only been writing when I feel like I have something to say. (Or rather, when I can get paid.)
I've been writing out of duty, not out of pleasure. Not even out of discipline to the craft!
To keep going like this would be detrimental to my career!
It would be like Serena Williams or Jordan Spieth only showing up for tournaments, and cutting practice out of their schedules entirely.
That would be insane, wouldn't it?
What I've been doing is essentially telling myself that I don't need practice. That because I got paid, I've done enough. I'm already good enough.
How arrogant is that?
What person at the top of their profession didn't put in extra time and effort?
Perhaps more importantly, what person at the top of their profession doesn't also find some aspect of their career relaxing and rejuvenating?
It's fortunate that writing is the cornerstone of my livelihood, because it's also one of the most powerful ways to relieve stress and relax the mind.
Why have I been depriving myself!?
By more or less only writing for money, I've been saying that I need a reason to write. That there must be specific end goal every time I touch a pen.
And I know very well that isn't true. No one needs a reason to write, or some planned reward.
When you're writing for someone else, or trying to convey something specific, or pitching an editor, yes, you need a reason. You need a purpose for your message.
But to write purely for yourself? To relax? The whole point is that there is no obligation!
Of course, many people write too much without reason (and speak too much, for that matter).
But for anyone - particularly for those in a position like mine - to neglect all the pleasure and the discipline that comes with writing frequently is ludicrous!
We write because it feels good. Because it clears our minds. Because that's how we get better. Because it's what we're meant to do!
Why would I need a paycheck or a contract for motivation, when everything I need is at the end of a pen?