Liz Strauss wrote "The problem with writing: 25 things you should know BEFORE you write for a living." Fair enough. Good points.
(My favourite is "when you learn how to write well, the finished product looks like it was easy.")
But it got me thinking. Actually, I love writing. My worst day as a writer is better than my best day in my previous career.
Sometimes, I can't believe I get paid to do it.
Why I love writing
So here is my list of the 25 positive things about being a writer:
- I enjoy the craftsmanship of writing.
- I meet lots of interesting new people and they willingly let me cross-examine them.
- I write about things I love: planes, technology, business.
- I'm directly responsible for all my work.
- I have to work 24 hours a day but I get to choose which 24.
- No commute.
- No employee problems. (Since I wrote this in 2006, Articulate has grown to become a 20-person agency so this but not so much nowadays!)
- If I don't like an assignment, it's over soon.
- If I don't like someone I'm working with, there will be another editor, another client soon.
- I'm vain enough to enjoy the thought that lots of people read my work and some enjoy it.
- I can write what I like on my blog. (Back then it was on this blog but now I write more personal articles on Geekboss.)
- Clients give me positive feedback that really encourages me
- Deadlines work for me. (Weird, huh!)
- When I find the exact right words to express something I feel like a genius momentarily.
- Sometimes, it is possible to give words to a completely new idea or thought. It's like finding a rare orchid in a dark wood.
- I am well paid for my work. It keeps me in tea and aviation fuel. As Samuel Johnson said: "no man but a blockhead writes, except for money.'
- My work really does solve my clients' problems.
- When people ask me what I do, I can say 'I'm a writer'. Cool. I resist the temptation to say 'I'm a writer and a pilot'. Most of the time.
- Being a writer gives me the perfect excuse to slob about in my pyjamas all morning. I can pretend to be bohemian. (Let's ignore the fact that I'm writing a white paper on file servers.)
- I have a big clippings file full of my work. I can actually point to the results of my labour.
- I agree with Woody Allen. I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality by living forever. However, there's a chance my writing may bring me a little fame.
- I ran a 65-person computer games company for ten years. The stuff many writers complain about: marketing, sales, negotiation collecting bills, admin, are all second nature to me.
- I think in lists anyway. And now I get paid to write them.
- My work increasingly crosses into other disciplines - web design, magazine production, marketing, PR - and this lets me use other my other skills and expertise. It also means I am constantly learning new things.
- Aristotle's definition of happiness is 'deploying your full force along lines of excellence.' Being a writer lets me do exactly that. I work hard. My work is good and useful. I am happy doing it.
See also: how to write
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