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Why I love writing: my 25 reasons

Posted by Matthew Stibbe
Picture of Matthew Stibbe
on 22 August 2006
How to write Writing copywriter

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:

  1. I enjoy the craftsmanship of writing.
  2. I meet lots of interesting new people and they willingly let me cross-examine them.
  3. I write about things I love: planes, technology, business.
  4. I'm directly responsible for all my work.
  5. I have to work 24 hours a day but I get to choose which 24.
  6. No commute.
  7. 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!)
  8. If I don't like an assignment, it's over soon.
  9. If I don't like someone I'm working with, there will be another editor, another client soon.
  10. I'm vain enough to enjoy the thought that lots of people read my work and some enjoy it.
  11. 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.)
  12. Clients give me positive feedback that really encourages me
  13. Deadlines work for me. (Weird, huh!)
  14. When I find the exact right words to express something I feel like a genius momentarily.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.'
  17. My work really does solve my clients' problems.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.)
  20. I have a big clippings file full of my work. I can actually point to the results of my labour.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. I think in lists anyway. And now I get paid to write them.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.

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